Asian carp may be in Lake MichiganFederal and state officials say there’s scientific evidence that a harmful invasive species, the Asian carp, has gotten beyond electric barriers near Chicago.
By: By Chuck Quirmbach, Wisconsin Public Radio , Superior Telegram
Federal and state officials say there’s scientific evidence that a harmful invasive species, the Asian carp, has gotten beyond electric barriers near Chicago. That means the hungry fish may be much closer to getting into the Great Lakes.
Scientists have been taking water samples from the rivers and canals between electric barriers 25 miles southwest of Chicago and Lake Michigan. The researchers say they found 32 positive samples of Asian carp DNA during the last week of September. Some of the samples were within about eight miles of Lake Michigan. University of Notre Dame biologist David Lodge says the carp may be there as well, but he says that isn’t certain.
Lodge also says it isn’t clear how long the DNA has been in the waterways. The scientists and agency officials say they don’t know how the carp got beyond the barriers and say they didn’t put the newer barrier on higher voltage until there was evidence the carp were just a few miles away. John Rogner of the Illinois DNR says options now include trying to find some carp by shocking the water or dumping in poison.
Conservation groups have called for immediate closure of all Illinois gateways and locks leading to Lake Michigan in what the groups say is a last-ditch attempt to keep the destructive Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes.