John Goss, Asian Carp Director
Photo Credit: Shedd Aquarium
The Great Lakes provide an incredible experience year round, but summer is my favorite time to do some leisurely fishing and enjoy a sunset. Through the work of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) and the plan we laid out in the Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework, we continue to ensure we do not allow a sustainable population of Asian carp to threaten our Great Lakes. Over the past few months there have been significant developments in the fight to keep Asian carp of the Great Lakes. Here’s a recap:
- The Obama Administration recently announced that Canada has joined the ACRCC, the latest step in our effort to ensure comprehensive action to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp. Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources will join U.S. Federal, State and local ACRCC partners.
- A Bi-National Risk Assessment, developed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and included a team of scientists from Canada and the United States, showed a significant risk to the Great Lakes if Asian carp are allowed to establish – reiterating why our comprehensive Asian carp control strategy is so important.
- The ACRCC announced that no Asian carp were seen or captured during a four-day intensive monitoring response in and around Lake Calumet, following a series of positive eDNA samples found in the area. The response, which took advantage of cutting-edge new netting technology and effectively sealed off the area to fish passage, included more than 1,000 person-hours on the water using dozens of state and Federal agency biologists and commercial fishermen aboard 11 vessels.
- After samples taken in August 2011 from Sandusky Bay in Ohio and Maumee Bay in Michigan recently tested positive for Asian carp eDNA, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) conducted follow-up monitoring and netting in those areas this summer, and found no indication of Asian carp presence. We remain proactive in looking for any potential threat of Asian carp, and FWS is continuing to partner with the States to coordinate further monitoring in the Great Lakes.
- In March, the Army Corps of Engineers announced that their Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS) will provide Congress and the public the opportunity to select a permanent Asian carp solution in 2013 -- much earlier than expected – and provide preliminary estimated costs and mitigation requirements for the best options. In July, the President also signed legislation directing the Corps to complete the study by late 2013.
- Earlier this year, the Great Lakes Commission and Great Lakes Cities Initiative released a report on the feasibility of hydrological separation of the Chicago Area Waterways System. The report, which is helping to inform the GLMRIS study, estimated the costs to be between $3.9 to $9.5 billion and take until at least 2029 to complete.
This is just a snapshot of our comprehensive approach to keeping Asian carp out of our Great Lakes. As we work together toward an effective long-term solution, we will continue our collaborative and coordinated daily efforts with our partners to make sure we protect our Great Lakes and Great Lakes communities. We provide important information on the ACRCC efforts on this site, so please check back regularly for updates right here on www.asiancarp.us.
Goss is the Asian Carp Director at the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Chair of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee.