Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bighead Carp

On December 3, 2009, rotenone, a fish toxicant, was released into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) to prevent Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan. The action to release the toxicant into the canal was in response to the required scheduled maintenance of one of two electric barriers currently in operation on the CSSC. The electric barriers operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were constructed to prevent the movement of Asian carp and other invasive species into Lake Michigan. While the barrier was shut down for maintenance the toxicant was applied as a precaution to guard against Asian carp entering Lake Michigan. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources in coordination with a multi-agency Asian Carp Rapid Response Workgroup managed the application of the rotenone. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District was not involved with the application of the toxicant, however, the District cooperated with the multi-agency workgroup by allowing the agencies access to District land and the canals. Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner Frank Avila is holding the only Bighead Asian Carp that was found during the project. The Bighead carp was found upstream from the MWRDGC Lockport Powerhouse. The majority of the other fish found were common carp and other species. At the present time the multi-agency workgroup is continuing to work together to address the on-going Asian carp issue.