ACRCC Monitoring and Rapid Response Update

As the 2012 field season kicks into high gear, the ACRCC Monitoring and Rapid Response Work Group wanted to update the public on the results of the first eDNA samples taken this season and our response to them.

The first round of eDNA sampling in 2012 was collected on May 22nd. Samples were collected from Lake Calumet and Little Calumet River. The monitoring results included 17 positives for silver carp (14 from Lake Calumet, 3 from Little Calumet River). Zero positives for bighead carp were found. The results of the eDNA analyses are posted on the Corps web site at:

The ACRCC Monitoring and Rapid Response Plan (MRRP) calls for a response action after three consecutive eDNA sample sets return positive hits from one location. However, as an extra precaution the Monitoring and Rapid Response Work Group (MRRWG) organized a Level 1 rapid response for Lake Calumet that took place June 12th-13th. This response included three electrofishing boats and crews, as well as two contracted commercial netting crews, with Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IL DNR) biologists on board, sampling for Asian carp in the area where the positive results were found.

Prior to this monitoring action, a second round of eDNA samples were collected from the area on June 11th, with the next regularly scheduled eDNA sampling occurring on June 25th.

Summary of Level 1 response

The two day sampling event at Lake Calumet and the nearby Calumet and Little Calumet rivers included IL DNR, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service electrofishers. After over 11 hours of electrofishing NO bighead carp or silver carp were found in any of the 47 electrofishing transects, which included over 11 miles of shoreline. Two contracted commercial fishers deployed 8,900 yards (5.1 miles) of gill nets throughout the target area. Gill nets were used to block off lake for the majority of the first day of sampling before being raised. Many species were collected including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, and yellow perch. Common carp, buffalo, and freshwater drum dominated commercial gears. Invasive species collected included grass carp, common carp, goldfish, carp and goldfish hybrids, white perch, and round gobies. Live zebra mussels and Eurasian water milfoil were found as well. An Illinois state threatened fish, banded killifish, was also collected in fairly good numbers. Since March 26, 2012, IL DNR has undertaken monitoring twice a month at these sites with commercial fishers with no collection or observations of bighead or silver carp (5 trips total). Also twice a month monitoring with USFWS and IL DNR electrofishing crews at these sites has been on-going since March 26, with no subsequent collection or observations of bighead or silver carp.

It is important to note that there has been no correlation between number of positive eDNA results and occurrence of fish. Simply, we have detected eDNA at this site.

For questions about the response actions undertaken at Lake Calumet please contact Chris McCloud: