'Holy Carp'! Obama Gives $7 Million to Stop Fish from Reaching Great Lakes
The annual hunt for Asian Carp in the rivers outside of Chicago is underway again this spring, but this year officials have a new set of tools to catch these illusive fish- not to mention a $7 million grant from the Obama administration.
Every spring, officials from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources go out on local rivers looking to control the populations of this invasive species, which have taken over almost every waterway except Lake Michigan. But this year, officials have reached into their bag of tricks thanks to funding from Washington, employing underwater carp cameras, fine mesh nets intended to catch larvae, and a large water gun that creates a barrier by emitting sound waves underwater.
"We've got to step it up another notch," said John Rogner, assistant director at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, on Monday. "We're not letting up."
Rogner’s statements came at a meeting of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee press conference announcing this year’s Rapid Response Plan. The response plan, which began monitoring carp populations in March, has caught 103 tons of the fish downstream in less than three months.
"We are very concerned that if spawning is happening in the vicinity of the barrier that that could present a kind of a new and special threat," Rogner added.
Only last year, a commercial fisherman netted a monster 19-pound carp north of the electric barriers. Let’s hope the Illinois Department of Natural resources knows their ‘carp.’