Bipartisan legislation cosponsored by 31 representatives and 7 senators this week would compel the Trump Administration to release a study with guidance on how to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. It was caught Thursday by a commercial fisherman under contract with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources about 2 miles below the below the T.J.
Michigan's Great Lakes waters continue to be invasive carp free, as evidenced by continual eDNA sampling that occurs on the state's major river systems.
Officials cautioned the discovery does not mean Asian carp have become established in the rivers and canals between the barriers and the Great Lakes, or in the lakes themselves. It's more likely the carp was a loner that somehow made its way into the Chicago area, Wooley said.
"This is concerning but it's not a three-alarm fire right now and we don't expect it to be", he said in an interview.
It is deeply alarming that a live Silver carp was found only nine miles from Lake Michigan.
Known as the Stop Asian Carp Now Act, the measure has received bipartisan support, with House Great Lakes Task Force Co-Chairs Bill Huizenga (R-MI) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) joining Senate Great Lakes Co-Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and others in its creation.
That's according to the Illinois DNR and the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources said now that a carp has been found, the state will do some extensive testing both above and below that point in the waterway to see if any more are found.
Bighead and silver carp are of special concern because they eat plankton - tiny plants and animals that for the base of the aquatic food chain. "We need to know how the Silver carp came so close to Lake Michigan and whether there are any additional carp in the area". They have called for placing barriers in the Chicago-area waterway to seal off the lakes from the MS watershed, a step opposed by IL lawmakers and shipping interests who say it would disrupt barge traffic on the busy waterway. Business interests in IL and in, meanwhile, have balked at such suggestions as well as others calling for barriers, saying they will impede inland waterway travel.
Senator Stabenow worked with other Great Lakes appropriators to secure language in the Fiscal Year 2016 omnibus that required the Army Corps to establish formal emergency procedures - including rapid response protocols and monitoring - to prevent Asian Carp from reaching Lake Michigan. "The Trump Admin must immediately release the study they have been blocking so we can permanently stop the Asian carp!"
Irons said the leading edge of adult silver and bighead carp are about 50 miles south Lake Michigan at the Dresden Island Pool in the Illinois River, near the mouth of the Kankakee River west of I-55.