On June 23rd, the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee announced that that one Bighead Asian carp was found in Lake Calumet along the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS). This is the first physical specimen that has been found in the CAWS above the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Electric Barrier System that was designed to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.
The Bighead carp was found in Lake Calumet which sits between T. J. O’Brien Lock and Dam and Lake Michigan. The find was made in the northwest corner of the lake near Harborside Golf Course, approximately six miles downstream of Lake Michigan by a commercial fisherman contracted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources during routine sampling efforts in the area. The fish was measured to be 34.6 inches long and weighed 19.6 pounds.
Despite this finding, the Army Corps of Engineers stated that it has no intention to close the shipping locks on Chicago’s waterways. The Corps is unlikely to change this intention, unless more Asian carp are found above the Electric Barrier System.
Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.