Thursday, April 7, 2011

Army Corps Activates New Electric Fish Barrier

Apr 7: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers activated electric fish Barrier IIB on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) near Romeoville, Ill. Barrier IIA has been placed in warm stand-by mode and will undergo scheduled maintenance within the next two months. The new barrier is set at parameters previously applied at Barrier IIA (a maximum field strength at the water surface of 2 Volts/inch, with 15 pulses per second and each pulse 6.5 milliseconds in duration). The demonstration barrier (Barrier I) remains in operation.

   Construction of Barrier IIB was largely funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, Stimulus Funding), enabling the Corps to complete it a year ahead of schedule. Col. Vincent Quarles, Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District said, "Successfully completing a complex construction project like this electric barrier takes teamwork. Certainly, the cooperative efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard and our other partners in the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) have been a great help in getting Barrier IIB constructed and operational." 

   The CSSC electric barriers project was designed to reduce the risk of inter-basin transfer of fish from the Mississippi River and Great Lakes drainage basins via the CSSC. The area surrounding the electric barriers remains a regulated navigation area as established by the U.S. Coast Guard. Boaters are reminded to use extreme caution while traveling in the CSSC between River Miles 296.1 to 296.7. This area is bounded approximately by the power plant near the Romeo Road Bridge and an aerial pipeline arch. While traveling through the area, boaters are advised to take the following precautions: Do not enter the water or place hands or feet in the water for any reason; Be sure to closely supervise children and pets or send them below deck if possible; and
Do not linger or attempt to moor in the area.
    Access a release from the Corps (click here). Access the Corps Chicago District Aquatic Nuisance Species Portal for more information (click here). Access the ACRCC website for more information (click here).