No Silver or Bighead Carps Found as Sampling Continues in Illinois Waterway

June 29, 2017

Contact:
Katie Steiger-Meister, Katie_Steiger-Meister@fws.gov, (612) 713-5317
Tim Schweizer, Tim.Schweizer@illinois.gov, (217) 785-4344

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Magna Carpa deployed to Calumet Harbor on June 27, 2017. Photo courtesy of IL DNR
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Magna Carpa deployed to Calumet Harbor on June 27, 2017. Photo courtesy of IL DNR.

CHICAGO, IL – No silver or bighead Asian carp have been seen or caught since the capture of an adult male silver carp 9 miles from Lake Michigan on June 22 by contracted commercial fisher below the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam. The silver carp capture triggered the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee’s Contingency Response Plan (PDF). An intensive monitoring operation in the Chicago Area Waterway System is currently underway this week.

As part of the coordinated contingency response, crews from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and contracted commercial fishers are conducting a monitoring operation that is expected to last two weeks. The U.S. Coast Guard has provided notice to mariners of increased activity in the areas above and below the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam.

Four electrofishing crews, three contracted commercial fishers, and a specially outfitted netting boat have been deployed daily below the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam, in Lake Calumet, and in an area from the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam to Calumet Harbor.  The operation, which covers a 13-mile section of the waterway with intensive monitoring, is scheduled to continue through July 7. Work continues weekdays, including the Fourth of July.  Mariners should watch for the presence of nets that are marked with floats. For more information on the coordinated contingency response, please refer to the Incident Action Plan: Operation Silver Bullet (PDF).

The silver carp captured June 22 has been sent to Southern Illinois University for analysis to determine the fish’s age and origin. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

 

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