Two weeks, 43 miles of net, 365 electro-fishing runs and no new Asian carp

This silver carp was captured nine miles from Lake Michigan on Thursday, June 22.

A gasp heard around the entire Great Lakes region went up late last month when a commercial fisherman caught a silver carp below the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam, a mere nine miles south of Lake Michigan.

The intense two-week emergency response by the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee, DNR and other agencies included close monitoring of the rivers and waterways in Illinois.

Today, as a follow-up report on the “Contingency Response Plan” was completed, we learned that no additional invasive carp were found. The operation exceeded 1,950 person-hours, according to the ACRCC. In addition, commercial fishers working with DNR biologists set more than 43 miles of gill nets, while crews conducted 365 electro-fishing runs.

Four electrofishing crews, three contracted commercial fishers, and a specially outfitted netting boat were deployed daily below the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam, in Lake Calumet, and in an area from the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam to Calumet Harbor.

“No silver or bighead Asian carp were seen or caught during two-weeks of intensive monitoring,” today’s announcement said, adding that additional monitoring will take place.

“With the conclusion of the intensive monitoring event on July 7, barrier defense, removal and monitoring actions will continue to be guided by the 2017 Monitoring and Response Plan,” DNR noted in a release. “The plan includes two-weeks of additional intensive Asian carp monitoring in the waterway upstream of the electric dispersal barriers in September.”

For more on the Asian carp find, read the July 14 issue of Illinois Outdoor News.

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