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Keep, Cool, Call: What to do if you capture a black carp

Black carp. Photo courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey.
Black carp. Photo courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey.
Black carps are a species of Asian carp that are a growing threat to our Midwest waters. As molluscivores, black carps eat mussels. The voracious appetites of black carps puts an additional stress on native mussel populations that are already struggling to thrive in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins. In 2017, there were 66 cases of black carp captures in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi, and Missouri. New areas of expansion in the black carp's range include the Peoria Pool of the Illinois Waterway, and also into the Ohio River basin just west of Paducah, Kentucky. Additionally, two additional specimens of young-of-year black carp were captured in 2017 near Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in the same ditch channel that produced several young black carps in 2016.

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Releases Third Annual Water Resources Reform and Development Act Report to Congress

2016 Water Resources Reform and Development Act Report
2016 Water Resources Reform and Development Act Report
Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released to the public the third annual report to Congress on activities and expenditures to manage the threat of Asian carp in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins. The report, developed pursuant to the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014, provides a summary of detection, prevention, control and management actions conducted by federal and state agencies to address the threat of Asian carp within the two river basins from October 2015 through September 2016.

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Genetic Test Confirms First Grass Carp Eggs Collected in the Maumee River

Bongo sampling for grass carp eggs on the Sandusky River. Photo courtesy of Nicole King/University of Toledo.
Bongo sampling for grass carp eggs on the Sandusky River. Photo courtesy of Nicole King/University of Toledo.
The Lake Erie Committee, the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee, and state and federal resource agency partners are continuing efforts to assess the population status and distribution of grass carp in western Lake Erie. This work includes monitoring for the presence of grass carp eggs in the Sandusky River and Maumee River in Ohio, and the River Raisin in Michigan.

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Interaction of Small Fish and Barge Traffic Publlished in Journal of Great Lakes Research

Barge traveling through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. Photo courtesy of USFWS.
A barge traveling through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. Photo courtesy of USFWS.
In 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers undertook a field study in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal near Romeoville, Illinois to determine the influence of tow transit on the efficacy of the Electric Dispersal Barrier System (EDBS) in preventing the passage of juvenile fish.

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Grass Carp Early Detection Efforts Underway for Lake Erie

U.S. Geological Survey team on the Sandusky River. Photo courtesy of USGS.
U.S. Geological Survey team on the Sandusky River. Photo courtesy of USGS.
For the past few years Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee partners have stepped up efforts to better understand the population status and distribution of grass carp in western Lake Erie. Work completed between May 30, 2017 and July 12, 2017 has led to the collection of fish eggs in the Sandusky River in Ohio, now confirmed to be grass carp eggs. The eggs were collected by representatives from U.S. Geological Survey, Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the University of Toledo, and then identified based on morphological characteristics of the eggs by the University of Toledo with confirmation by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Collaborative Effort Held to Sample for Grass Carp in the Sandusky River

Grass carp sampling in Sandusky River. Photo courtesy of Ohio DNR.
Grass carp sampling in Sandusky River. Photo courtesy of Ohio DNR.
Fisheries biologists from multiple agencies recently conducted a project on the Sandusky River to assess the ability to capture grass carp, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Crews from the ODNR Division of Wildlife worked with Michigan DNR, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, U.S. Geological Survey, New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the University of Toledo for two days of sampling looking for grass carp, in conjunction with aquatic invasive species sampling in Sandusky Bay conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Autopsy Complete of Silver Carp Captured 9 Miles from Lake Michigan

The silver carp captured in the Illinois Waterway below T.J. O'Brien Lock and Dam on June 22, 2017. Photo courtesy of Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
The silver carp captured in the Illinois Waterway below T.J. O'Brien Lock and Dam on June 22, 2017. Photo courtesy of Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
An autopsy of the silver carp found this past June, 9 miles from Lake Michigan in the Little Calumet River of the Chicago Area Waterway System, finds that the fish originated in the Illinois/Middle Mississippi watershed.

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Corps Releases Draft Report Related to Preventing Spread of Asian Carp into the Great Lakes

Aerial view of Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Joliet Illinois. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.
Aerial view of Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Joliet Illinois. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released The Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study – Brandon Road Draft Integrated Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement – Will County, Illinois (GLMRIS-Brandon Road Report) for public review and comment.

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Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Tagging Invasive Carp for First Time

Minnesota DNR specialists implant a tag in a bighead carp. Photo courtesy of MN DNR.
Minnesota DNR specialists implant a tag in a bighead carp. Photo courtesy of MN DNR.
Minnesota Legislature granted the state's Department of Natural Resources the authority to use tagging as a research tool. For the first time in Minnesota, the DNR is using a tagged bighead carp to learn more about invasive carps.

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No Silver or Bighead Carps Found as Sampling Concludes in Illinois Waterway

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service field team deployed to the response. Photo courtesy of IL DNR.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service team deployed to the response. Photo courtesy of IL DNR.
No silver or bighead Asian carp have been seen or caught since the capture of an adult male silver carp 9 miles from Lake Michigan on June 22 by contracted commercial fisher below the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam. The silver carp capture triggered the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee’s Contingency Response Plan (PDF). An intensive monitoring operation in the Chicago Area Waterway System is currently underway this week.

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