The first Asian carp was found on December 3 in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) below the electric barrier system and just above the Lockport Lock and Dam. Intensive sampling operations on the CAWS by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service first began on February 17 in an attempt to locate either Silver or Bighead Asian carp above the Electric Fish Barrier System. Previous sampling actions throughout the last four months above the barrier did not produce any Silver or Bighead carp.
Additional sampling actions on Lake Calumet above T.J O'Brien Lock and Dam will include IDNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fishery biologists supported by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and commercial fishermen. Commercial fishing nets and electrofishing gear will continue to be used in Lake Calumet and additional resources will be deployed to begin sampling up the Calumet River leading to Lake Michigan. Electrofishing and sampling efforts in Lake Calumet and the Calumet River will continue throughout the next several weeks. During these activities every effort will be made to minimize the impact to waterway users and provide as much advanced notice of any possible waterway restrictions.
Mike Weimer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Assistant Regional Director of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Program said, "This issue is an extremely high priority for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and we will continue to work directly with our partners and stakeholders to implement the Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework using all available tools and techniques. We remain firmly committed to achieving our collective goal of preventing Asian carp from becoming established in Great Lakes waters."