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The Scoop

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Swikar Patel The Journal Gazette
The existing 1,400-foot-long fence at Eagle March is intended to prevent Asian carp from moving into the Great Lakes water system during flooding.

Verbatim: New Eagle Marsh barrier planned to stop Asian carp

Statement as issued Wednesday by the office of President Barack Obama:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Obama Administration today announced a series of new measures to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp, building on the comprehensive plan the Administration created in 2010 to prevent this invasive species from developing self-sustaining populations in the Great Lakes.

The 2013 Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework adds several initiatives to the proactive effort to combat Asian carp, including testing and deployment of new physical and chemical control tools, strengthening the electric barrier system in the Chicago Area Waterway System, and constructing a new project to physically separate the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basin at Eagle Marsh near Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The Administration has invested more than $200 million dollars to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp and created the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) in 2009 in an unprecedented and effective effort to coordinate Federal, State and local efforts to combat the invasive species.

“This strategy continues our aggressive effort to bolster our tools to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes while we work toward a long term solution,” said John Goss, Asian Carp Director at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “The 2013 Framework will strengthen our defenses against Asian carp and move innovative carp control projects from research to field trials to implementation.”

“For the region’s economy to be healthy, the Great Lakes need to be healthy” said Cameron Davis, Senior Advisor to the Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Vice Chair of the ACRCC. “With support from the President and Congress, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative continues to fund work to aggressively beat back these fish.”

“The Army Corps of Engineers is working diligently every day with our partner in the fight against aquatic nuisance species and Asian carp. Our prior achievements in 2011 demonstrate the success of this integrated, comprehensive framework, to keep Asian carp from becoming established in our Great Lakes. We are confident in continued success with our 2013 initiatives,” said Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.

“Much progress has been made in the development and refinement of Asian carp detection and control tools and in the understanding of the food and habitat required for Asian carp reproduction and survival”, stated Dr. Leon Carl, USGS Midwest Region Director. “The collaboration and support of the ACRCC has been essential in getting us to this point, and we will continue moving forward to get these new technologies and information into the hands of managers and other decision makers.”

“The 2013 Framework represents the unparalleled efforts of a dedicated partnership between international, federal and state partners committed to preventing the movement of self-sustaining populations of Asian carp into the Great Lakes,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Deputy Regional Director Charlie Wooley. “As demonstrated in the Framework, the Service is and will continue to be an active partner in the fight against Asian carp.”

In addition to the above projects, updates to the Framework in 2013 include:

• Designing and constructing a mobile electric dispersal barrier that can be deployed in the Chicago Area Waterway System or other waterways to move or clear fish and act as a temporary barrier for experimental or emergency situations.

• Continuing design and construction of an additional permanent electric barrier in the Chicago Area Waterway System.

• Developing and field testing Asian carp physical control tools such as water guns and netting; chemical control tools such as microparticles, selective toxins and carbon dioxide; and pheromone attractants.

• Designing barriers preventing the transfer of aquatic nuisance species between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins at the Eagle Marsh, Ohio Erie Canal and Little Killbuck Creek potential pathway connections, as part of Great Lakes Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS).

• Identifying controls, including hydrologic separation scenarios, to prevent the transfer of aquatic nuisance species between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins through a GLMRIS report in late 2013.

• Increasing bi-national collaboration to stop the illegal transport of Asian carp and other aquatic invasive species across state and international borders.

• Transitioning operations and processing of environmental DNA (eDNA) from the Army Corps to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Federal agency responsible for fisheries management.

• Expanding sampling efforts in southern Lake Michigan, western Lake Erie, and other potential invasion spots.

• Completing an eDNA calibration project to help managers better understand what finding positive eDNA monitoring results implies about the presence or absence of Asian carp in a water body.

• Continuing fish tagging and utilization of sonar equipment to evaluate electric barrier effectiveness.

For more information and to read the 2013 Framework, please visit: www.asiancarp.us

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