The Problem

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An artificial connection – known as the Chicago Area Waterway System – connects the Great Lakes to the Illinois River, which connects to the Mississippi River. The United States Army Corps of Engineers currently maintains an electric barrier to prevent carp from entering the Great Lakes basin. The Corps is also conducting the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study, which is exploring additional options and technologies that could be applied to prevent ANS transfer between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins through aquatic pathways.

Biologists, policy makers, and citizens have grown deeply concerned about the prospects of Asian carp entering the Great Lakes through the Chicago Waterway System. If these fish enter the Great Lakes, they may spread throughout the basin due to the natural and man-made connections and the widespread distribution of suitable habitat. While the fish will not find all parts of the Great Lakes to be hospitable, the lakes contain areas where the fish may thrive, reproduce, and cause harm.




View maps to see where Asian carp have been found: