Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee Releases 2016 Asian Carp Action Plan

Asian Carp by Kate Gardiner/Creative Commons
Asian Carp by Kate Gardiner/Creative Commons.

The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) today announced the release of the 2016 Asian Carp Control Action Plan. Formerly called the Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework, the document outlines the strategic and coordinated actions federal, provincial, state and local partners are taking to stop the introduction, spread and establishment of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. Since the ACRCC’s establishment in 2009, the actions of the partnership have successfully defended the Great Lakes from self-sustaining populations of Asian carp with more than $386 million invested in research, control and monitoring efforts.

"Just as Asian carp continue to move and evolve, so does our fight against them,” said Cameron Davis, co-chair of the ACRCC and Senior Advisor to the Administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “This Action Plan shows we’re continuing to do just that—take action—to protect the Great Lakes.”

This year more than $17.5 million of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding, in addition to more than $39.8 million of federal agency base funding, will be used by partners to implement key projects and initiatives to safeguard the Great Lakes from invasive bighead, silver, grass and black carps.

"The Great Lakes are a tremendous resource that must be protected,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Deputy Regional Director, Charlie Wooley. “Through our monitoring efforts, we continue to be ever-vigilant to ongoing and emerging Asian carp threats to the Great Lakes. As Asian carp continue to push up against our defenses, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and our partners will continue to push back.”

ACRCC initiatives for 2016 include increased efforts for the detection of Asian carp at various life stages using comprehensive and targeted sampling, continued development of control technologies and identification of opportunities for their field implementation.  In addition, the ACRCC is continuing to focus on the development of control alternatives at Brandon Road Lock and Dam area in Illinois.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers appreciates the value of partnership in efforts to keep Asian carp from establishing in the Great Lakes. We look forward to continuing to work with other members of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee as we advance efforts in the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study, operate the electric barrier system in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and participate in monitoring efforts,” said Col. Christopher Drew, Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District.

Additional 2016 efforts include:

  • Construction of a new electric barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal,
  • Closure actions at Little Killbuck Creek Pathway and Ohio-Erie Canal,
  • Addressing the potential for fish to be trapped between barges and transported to news areas, referred to as entrainment,
  • Applying improved fishery nets and equipment,
  • Development of  new control technologies and strategies, and
  • Increasing monitoring activities based on ongoing risk assessments.

"The U.S. Geological Survey is working with our partners to field test control tools such as carbon dioxide barriers and underwater sound, which Asian carp avoided in previous studies,” said Leon Carl, USGS Midwest Regional Director. “We are also refining tools such as a portable Asian carp eDNA detection kit  and providing critical data and analyses of water conditions around the locks and dams to inform management decisions.”
A full listing of 2016 action items, project descriptions and intended outcomes is provided in Appendix B of the Action Plan. The ACRCC Long-Term Planning Horizon is in Appendix C.

Members of the ACRCC:
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Michigan Office of the Great Lakes
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
New York Department of Environmental Conservation
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Quebec Ministère de la Forêt, de la Faune et des Parcs
U .S Department of Commerce - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Coast Guard
U.S. Department of Transportation/Maritime Administration
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Geological Survey
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
City of Chicago
Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Great Lakes Commission
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago