Asian Carp Rapid Response Workgroup wraps up main operation on Chicago Sanitary Ship Canal – Illinois DNR

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

December 3, 2009

CONTACTS: Chris McCloud (IDNR)
(217) 785-0075

Phillippa Cannon (USEPA)

Lynne Whelan (USACE)

CPO. Robert Lanier (USCG)

Slug: Press Conference
Date: 12/3/09
Time: 9:30 PM (CT) – 9:45 PM (CT)
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For technical assistance please call The Illinois Information Service at 217.785.5499

CHICAGO – The Asian Carp Rapid Response Workgroup announced this evening that a bighead Asian carp was found in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) just above the Lockport Lock and Dam. This is the first physical specimen that has been found in the CSSC since eDNA testing earlier this year suggested the presence of Asian carp in the area.

"This is clearly a significant find in this operation that validates why it is so important for this work to be done," said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Assistant Director, John Rogner. "We will continue to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and our partners on maintaining the integrity of the area around the barrier."

Concentrations of Asian carp in the Lockport Pool are expected to be low compared to total biomass collected.

The Bighead carp was found 500 feet above the Lockport Lock and Dam near the west bank by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Assistant Project Leader from the Carterville Illinois office. The fish is 21 and 7/8 inches long.

Biologists working with the Asian Carp Rapid Response Workgroup began applying Rotenone Wednesday evening on a 5.7 mile stretch of the canal. Rotenone application was chosen as the best option of keeping Asian carp from breaching the electric barrier while it is taken down for scheduled routine maintenance. The application went as planned and clean-up efforts began around 8am this morning. The discovery of the bighead was found during those efforts.

Clean-up operations ended at sundown this evening and will resume around 7am tomorrow morning. More than 350 people have contributed to the efforts on the ground during this week's operation.

The media access area on the canal will be open to media at 8am Friday morning.