Asian Carp Response in the Midwest
2016 Preliminary Barge Results
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a preliminary report of a study documenting how barge traffic impacts fish movement within the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Electric Dispersal Barrier System. The preliminary results show that it is possible that barges moving downstream (away from Lake Michigan) can temporarily cause a decrease in the electric charge in the canal and cause water in the canal to reverse direction and flow upstream (toward Lake Michigan). These combined effects could increase the risk of small fish being able to move upstream through the electric barrier.
This study was done in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Geological Survey and other ACRCC member agencies as part of our continual efforts to identify and mitigate potential avenues for Asian carp to enter the Great Lakes.
At this time there is no indication that this potential pathway increases the risk of Asian carp entering the Great Lakes. The leading edge of small Asian carp is more than 40 miles and three lock and dam barriers downstream from the electric barrier. The Service will continue to work with ACRCC agencies to further refine, assess, and if needed, mitigate this potential pathway.