Response exercise provides DNR staff with more training on Asian carp removal

August 10, 2015

Contact: Seth Herbst, 517-284-5841 or Tammy Newcomb, 517-284-5832

The Department of Natural Resources sent several Fisheries Division staff last week to Illinois to assist their DNR with an on-going Asian carp removal project. The goal of the project is to respond to the leading edge and reduce the population levels of Asian carp that are threatening the Great Lakes via the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS).

While there, Fisheries Division staff assisted Illinois DNR staff and commercial anglers to capture and remove bighead and silver carp from reaches of the Illinois River south of Chicago. Although Asian carp (bighead or silver) are not present in any Michigan waters, this training provided critical knowledge to the Michigan DNR for potential future response efforts.

Methods used during the course of this training exercise included gillnetting, seining and electrofishing. All of the fish caught and removed were provided to a processor to make fertilizer.

Eleven Michigan DNR staff participated, spending multiple days over the course of last week on the project. A group of Fisheries Division staff conducted similar work in 2014. The DNR’s participation in this effort highlights its continued collaboration and dedication for addressing Asian carp issues in Michigan.

In addition to this recent training exercise, the DNR has also coordinated and participated in other field efforts to increase preparedness and implement portions of the state’s Asian Carp Management Plan (PDF). These include a field exercise on the St. Joseph River in the fall of 2013 and a multi-jurisdictional field exercise, co-led with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, held on Lake Erie in the fall of 2014.

“Opportunities like the one we participated in last week are critical to maintaining regional collaboration and helping to reduce the Asian carp population that’s currently threatening the Great Lakes,” said DNR Senior Water Policy Advisor, Tammy Newcomb. “The efforts provide valuable opportunities to help us address any Asian carp issues that threaten our state’s waters while we work towards additional preventative solutions in Illinois.”

For even more information on Asian carp, visit