What if Asian carp are beyond the barriers?
During routine monitoring efforts related to the control of Asian carp in the IllinoisWaterway System, member agencies of the Asian Carp Regional CoordinatingCommittee announced today one bighead Asian carp was found in Lake Calumet.However, it is important to note that the presence of Asian carp upriver of existingbarriers is not cause for alarm. The objective of ongoing Asian carp controlmeasures is to prevent Asian carp from establishing a self-sustaining population inthe Great Lakes. This is notably different than preventing low numbers of Asiancarp from reaching the lakes.
The discovery of Asian carp upriver of existing barriers does not mean thatthe barriers have failed. In fact, all evidence indicates that existing barriersare working successfully.
According to the documents published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,there are 21 pathways through which Asian carp could bypass the barriers orotherwise be introduced upriver, including accidental and deliberateunauthorized releases by individuals and incidental inclusion of Asian carp indomestic shipments of food fishes.
Isolated discovery of Asian carp upriver of the control barriers does notindicate the presence of a self-sustaining population.
With so many possible methods for introduction of Asian carp to the GreatLakes, keeping isolated numbers or single specimens of fish out of the GreatLakes is not only likely impossible, focusing on such a goal would be anirresponsible diversion of resources. In fact, isolated specimens of Asian carphave already been found in Lake Erie.