Two weeks of intensive fishing in and around a Chicago waterway failed to produce any proof that more Asian carp have made it past electronic barriers meant to keep the invasive species out of Lake Michigan.
Teams were deployed after a commercial fisherman's capture June 22 of a silver carp, one of the species native to Asia that have infested the Illinois River and advanced on Lake Michigan. The 28-inch (71-centimeter), 8-pound (3-kilogram) fish was only the second live Asian carp ever caught past the barriers, giving fresh ammunition to critics who question the effectiveness of the government's strategy for protecting the lakes.
The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee - a consortium of local, state and federal agencies - put out a statement Monday saying despite some 365 electro-fishing runs and more than 91 hours of efforts, no additional silver or bighead carp were detected. But he and other officials said they were convinced its discovery just 9 miles (14 kilometers) from Lake Michigan did not mean large numbers of Asian carp had breached the defenses. "There's a tremendous amount of relief". They escaped and spread up the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
Silver carp are among four Asian species that are threatening to invade the Great Lakes. Silver carp, along with bighead carp, are known collectively as Asian carp. And there are growing concerns that the electronic barriers about 37 miles from Lake Michigan are not foolproof in terms of keeping fish out.
They caught over 20,000 fish but no Asian carp, Irons said. IL business groups oppose that, saying shipping would be disrupted. The Trump administration has been holding up the release of the report since February 28 despite bipartisan calls for it to be released.
"The situation should be a wake-up call for agencies that have become complacent while Asian carp populations march steadily toward Lake Michigan".
But the Alliance for the Great Lakes says more should be done to protect the Great Lakes.
"The finding of an adult Asian carp north of the electric barrier is a warning signal. Instead, it appears to be met by government agencies and administration officials with a collective yawn", the group said.