Eighteen months from now there will be several options to choose from in efforts to prevent the invasive Asian Carp from making it into the Great Lakes. Army Corps of Engineers Col. Fred Drummond says a report due out at the end of next year will detail different plans that could be put into place to keep Asian Carp at bay. Plans could include the closing of locks and dams on waterways that connect Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River. “Hydrologic separation is one of several options that could be out there on the table,” Drummond said.
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Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania sued in July 2010 to have the locks and dams along the Chicago River and the Sanitary and Ship Canal permanently shuttered, claiming the carp posed a threat to the $7 billion sport fishing and tourism industries.
A federal judge ruled that the states failed to show imminent harm and the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to take up the case. Closing the locks and dams would hurt the barge industry as well as tourism in Chicago.
At a meeting of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee in Chicago, an annual report was released that shows the adult population of Asian Carp closest to Lake Michigan hasn’t changed since 2006. Electronic barriers, commercial fishing and netting are keeping the fish from entering the lake.