John Goss, Asian Carp Director
Photo Credit: Shedd Aquarium
As we begin 2013, I think it's important to note that the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) made significant progress in 2012 along a number of fronts in our efforts to prevent Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes. For example, the electrical dispersal barriers are now operating at optimal parameters; no new live Asian carp have been found in the CAWS above the electric dispersal barriers, with over 40,000 hours of netting, electrofishing, and keen observation by experienced fisheries biologists; and we're making advances on efforts to identify technologies to control or eradicate Asian carp.
In addition, over the last few months, the Corps has made significant progress on reports that will be important building blocks for the identification of a recommendation to prevent the movement of aquatic nuisance species between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. Through this effort, called the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS), the Corps has released:
- An Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) White Paper identifying 39 high risk aquatic nuisance species for invasion to either the Great Lakes or Mississippi River;
- An assessment of non-commercial cargo Chicago Area Waterways System traffic; and
- As assessment of commercial cargo CAWS traffic.
- A Control Technology Report identifying technologies that exist to prevent ANS transfer between the Mississippi and Great Lakes basins.
I’d like especially to acknowledge the Corps' most recent release, an "Inventory of Available Controls for Aquatic Nuisance Species of Concern – Chicago Area Waterway System." This report is a significant step in the fight against not only Asian carp but also other invasive species threatening both the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River basins. The report lays out a range of options that can be tested to help determine the final course of action. You can find all of these reports on the Corps web site at GLMRIS.anl.gov. I encourage all stakeholders to take a close look at this report and send any ideas or suggestions to the Corps.
I'd like to thank all of the ACRCC partners and the public for their accomplishments in 2012. I look forward to working with all of you in 2013 to protect our Great Lakes.John Goss is the Asian Carp Director at the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Chair of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee.