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Find comes after unprecedented fish kill
The Asian Carp Rapid Response Workgroup announced that a bighead Asian carp was found in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) just above the Lockport Lock and Dam. This is the first physical specimen that has been found in the CSSC since environmental DNA testing earlier this year suggested the presence of Asian carp in the area.
“This is clearly a significant find in this operation that validates why it is so important for this work to be done,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Assistant Director John Rogner. “We will continue to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and our partners on maintaining the integrity of the area around the barrier.”
Concentrations of Asian carp in the Lockport Pool are expected to be low compared to total biomass collected.
The Bighead carp was found 500 ft above the Lockport Lock and Dam near the west bank by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Assistant Project Leader from the Carterville Illinois office. The fish is 21 and 7/8 in. long. Biologists working with the Asian Carp Rapid Response Workgroup began applying Rotenone on a 5.7-mile stretch of the canal. Rotenone application was chosen as the best option of keeping Asian carp from breaching the electric barrier while it is taken down for scheduled routine maintenance. The application went as planned, according to the DNR.
There is consensus among federal, state, and local agencies along with other partners that actions must be taken to prevent these invasive species from reaching Lake Michigan.
"The barrier system is a critical element in the fight to keep Asian carp from migrating into Lake Michigan via the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal," said Col. Vincent Quarles, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District. "The Army Corps of Engineers is committed to keeping the barrier system operating effectively and regularly scheduled maintenance is a key part of that process."