Calls on Great Lakes Legislators to "See for Themselves" Effective Anti-Carp Operation
U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL-13) today boarded an Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) vessel for a tour of the Little Calumet River as crews collected and categorized 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 issued the following statement after her boat tour and a briefing at the Incident Command Center with officials from IDNR, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and the United States Coast Guard:
"Today I had the opportunity to see the front lines of our Asian carp regional coordinating team at work. In the days since Rotenone was applied, over 20 thousand fish have been recovered, catalogued, and disposed of with no sign of Asian carp. The effort has been extremely effective, and crews are working diligently to ensure that each fish is examined and every bit of evidence is recorded to help our environmental managers make the right decisions and keep our precious ecosystem safe.
"I would encourage my colleagues in other Great Lakes delegations to come see the extraordinary and controlled procedures in place to sample for Asian carp. Extensive net barriers have been used to organize the sampling effort, employing divers and commercial netting outfits to catalogue each and every fish in this stretch of the Little Cal. If they did come here to see for themselves, I know they would not be so quick to litigate or legislate lock closure as the only viable solution.
"Thanks to the efforts of all these people, we know better where the Asian carp are and -- just as importantly -- where they aren't. The team will continue to use that information to shut off every possible avenue for the carp to migrate into Lake Michigan using every tool in our arsenal. Those scientifically sound solutions include additional Rotenone applications, upgraded electric barriers, extensive electro-fishing, and advanced e-DNA testing. We can be grateful to have such an excellent team of coordinating agencies working all-hands-on-deck to ensure that our ecosystem is protected."