Asian carp measures delayed

by Jeff Helsdon | June 6, 2024
grass carp looming under lily pads

Squabbling between the state of Illinois and the US federal government is delaying measures planned to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. For example, electrical and acoustic barriers, an air bubble curtain, a flushing lock, and an engineered channel are at issue.

Molly Flanagan, chief operating officer for the Alliance for the Great Lakes, said Illinois is responsible for the delays because they have not signed the Project Partnership Agreement. Among the reasons, the state is no longer willing to provide funding. Conversely, the state does not want to bear the responsibilities for hazardous waste sites, and other costs and liabilities.

Flanagan doesn’t see construction starting until 2025. Nearly a million pounds of invasive carp were pulled from the Illinois River in one day last November.

This is more than all that was harvested in 2022.

“This (harvest) event was two locks and 45 river miles below the Brandon Road Lock and Dam,” she said. “Large populations of invasive carp in one place make it harder for fish to find food and suitable spawning habitats. This increases the likelihood that invasive carp could surge and move further toward the Brandon Road lock.”

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