Asian carp found near Lake Michigan got past barriers
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Officials say an Asian carp found in a Chicago waterway this summer apparently got past an electric barrier system intended to prevent the invasive fish from reaching the Great Lakes.
The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee says an autopsy shows the 4-year-old male silver carp originated in the Illinois/Middle Mississippi watershed.
It was caught June 22 in Chicago’s Little Calumet River, about 9 miles (14 kilometers) from Lake Michigan.
That would suggest the carp somehow evaded three electric barriers 37 miles (60 kilometers) from the lake. But officials say they’re now sure how it happened.
Environmentalists and officials in some Great Lakes states say the barriers aren’t enough to stop the carp.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently released a list of options for strengthening defenses at a lock and dam in Illinois. Illinois Gov. Rauner, however, opposes that plan, saying it’s too expensive and existing methods to keep the invasive species contained are effective.
Scientists say if the carp reach the Great Lakes, they could devastate a $7 billion fishing industry by crowding out native species.