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article imageNew attempt to deal with invasive Asian carp

By Tim Sandle     Jun 8, 2014 in Environment
An updated Monitoring and Response Plan (MRP) to protect the Great Lakes from an invasive species of Asian carp has been announced.
The plan, devised by the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC), will focus on monitoring and removing the fish that end up downstream of the Electric Barrier System in the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) and in the upper Illinois Waterway.
The plan will also evaluate the effectiveness of the barriers, with the goal of preventing the formation of self-sustaining populations in the CAWS and Lake Michigan.
In conjunction, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released a summary of its Great Lakes eDNA Monitoring Program, which examines CAWS waters and the Great Lakes basin for signs of Asian carp spread. Together, these efforts aim to stem the spread of the invasive animals, according to The Scientist.
Asian carp were originally introduced to southern U.S. states more than three decades ago to control algal build-up in sewage treatment plants. But they escaped into the Mississippi River and proliferated, making their way north towards the Great Lakes.
Further new efforts to be launched later in the year include increased sampling downstream of the electric barriers, the hiring of commercial fishing crews to target at-risk areas of the upper Illinois Waterway; a heightened telemetry monitoring program for the fish; and testing the off-target effects of water gun seismic pressure waves, which can divert the fish away from stationary or mobile barriers.
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