U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL-13) today applauded the hard work of the crews who today concluded a week-long effort to collect and categorize fish killed during the latest anti-Asian carp operation. The fish were being recovered following the May 20th application of a fish toxin known as Rotenone, administered as part of a multi-agency management effort designed to keep the invasive species from reaching the Great Lakes ecosystem.
Biggert toured the operation on Sunday while teams of scuba divers, biologists, fishermen, and mariners conducted a thorough fish sampling operation along a five-mile stretch of the Calumet and Little Calumet River. Today, the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC) reported that out of the more than 100,000 pounds of fish that were collected, no Asian carp were found. Biggert issued the following statement:
"The Coast Guard, the Army Corps, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and all the other team members should be commended for their hard work in executing this intense and well-controlled operation. This successful effort will provide crucial data that we need to guide our next steps and prevent this invasive species from threatening our precious Great Lakes ecosystem.
"I am very encouraged that -- despite these extraordinary steps -- no single Asian Carp has been found beyond the electronic barriers. It proves that the efforts of our environmental managers in Illinois are paying off. From fish toxin and electric barriers to electro-fishing and e-DNA tracking, our teams are using every scientifically sound tool in the arsenal to protect Lake Michigan. And they are doing so without bowing to political pressure to pursue short-sighted and ineffective measures that would unnecessarily close Chicago's waterways, and devastate the economy. I hope my colleagues in other Great Lakes delegations take note of this successful operation, and rethink their efforts to impose lock closure on Chicago through litigation or legislation."