Great Lakes to Get Asian Carp Barrier
By Don Babwin
Yahoo Science - AP
October 13th, 2004
CHICAGO - The Army Corps of Engineers will in two weeks
begin building a permanent electric barrier to keep the
invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes, officials
The $9.1 million project in the Chicago Sanitary and
Ship Canal, a link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi
River, is expected to be completed by April. The carp
can migrate across Illinois from the Mississippi by various
other rivers and then the canal.
The federal government will spend $6.8 million on the
barrier. Illinois has committed $1.7 million, and the
other Great Lakes states will fund the remainder of about
half a million dollars.
"Asian carp can completely disrupt the biodiversity
and ecosystem of the lakes," said EPA Administrator
Mike Leavitt. "We've got to stop them where they
The announcement comes more than two years after a temporary
electric barrier was installed amid concerns that the
voracious carp — which can grow to 150 pounds and eat
40 percent of its body weight a day — would devour so
much food it could starve native species. That barrier
proved effective but it is now deteriorating, according
to the Army Corps of Engineers.
Rep. Judy Biggert (news, bio, voting record), who represents
the area where the barrier will be built, said an Asian
carp had been spotted in the Illinois River just 21 miles
from the barrier.
Meanwhile, state officials are working to try to reduce
the number of carp in other rivers, including the Illinois
River, where the fish has already taken a firm hold.