Next Rapid Response in Lake Calumet Announced

The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) will conduct a Level 1 response in Lake Calumet on October 30-31, 2012. 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 for either silver or bighead carp. A Level 1 response uses ACRCC fisheries biologists, commercial fishermen and electro-fishing and netting operations to look for Asian carp in areas where positive eDNA results have surfaced. The ACRCC is following a set of protocols in the 2012 MRRP which outline specific circumstances that would trigger one of three different response levels.

Similar Level 1 responses for Lake Calumet previously took place June 12-13 and again on July 10-13, 2012. No Asian carp were seen or captured during these two previous events which totaled five days.

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

In addition to these response actions, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey are currently conducting a first of its kind Environmental DNA Calibration Study (ECALS) to help determine possible sources of Asian carp eDNA. ECALS is investigating possible alternate sources of Asian carp DNA (other than live fish), improving existing genetic markers and investigating the relationship between the number and distribution of positive eDNA samples with the density of Asian carp populations. The results of this study will allow for more effective interpretation of future eDNA results and investigate ways to make the eDNA sampling process more efficient through decreased time and costs.

Additional information about the ECALS study can be found at


Commercial and agency (Illinois DNR) gill netting and agency electrofishing (Illinois DNR and USACE Chicago District) occurred from 8:00 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, 30-31 October 2012.

  • Two net boats and two electrofishing boats, 9 crew: approximately 125 person-hours of effort
  • Gill nets: 38 sets, 8,700 yards (4.9 miles), 290 fish captured representing nine species
  • Electrofishing : 30 runs, 7.5 hrs, 4,464 fish captured representing 31 species
  • Lake Michigan fyke/pond nets: Two nets were in place blocking off the entrance to Lake Calumet before, during and after the response

Grand total for the week – 4,754 fish captured representing 36 species. Note: one grass carp was observed during sampling and 24 chinook salmon (13 electrofishing and 11 netting), 2,099 juvenile gizzard shad under 6 inches and 356 banded killifish were sampled and released.

No bighead carp or silver carp were observed or captured during this Level 1 operation.