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New report finds faults in Lake Michigan barriers preventing Asian carp invasion

Asian carp (Photo courtesy of Reuters/USGS)
Asian carp (Photo courtesy of Reuters/USGS)

CHICAGO (WTAQ) - A new report exposes new faults with the electronic barriers that are supposed to keep the invasive Asian carp out of Lake Michigan.  

The Army Corps of Engineers said there's no evidence of the bloated carp bypassing the barriers. However, the Corps' research finds that passing vessels can pull the fish past the obstructions, and cause fluctuations in the strength of the electronic field.  

The Army Corps and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have conducted lab and field experiments to assess the impact of heavy barges going through the electronic fields at the fish barriers west of Chicago.  

The preliminary findings showed that tiny fish from 2 to 4 inches in length can pass the barriers while hitching onto boats. However, the study said there's no immediate threat that Asian carp will enter Lake Michigan -- where they can become large in size, and eat up the food that native fish in the lake rely upon.  

Wisconsin is among the states concerned that the bloated carp could ruin the Great Lakes' multi-billion dollar commercial fishing industry.  

The new study says it could take awhile. The nearest small Asian carp is 131 miles from Lake Michigan. The closest adult carp found in the Illinois River is 55 miles away.  

Only one live Asian carp has been known to bypass the electronic barrier, although the DNA of numerous carp have been found past that point.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)