Federal officials said Wednesday that they will test new tools to control the spread of Asian carp, including strengthening an electronic barrier in the Chicago area, as part of a new strategy for keeping the invasive species out of the Great Lakes.
The Obama administration released its 2013 Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework, which says there will also be a new project to separate Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River basin at Eagle Marsh near Fort Wayne, Ind.
In addition, officials said they plan to design a mobile electric dispersal barrier that can be deployed in Chicago area waterways in emergency situations; continue work on another permanent electric barrier in the region; and develop and test tools such as water guns, netting and selective toxins.
“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 strategy framework also calls for looking at whether permanent physical separation between the Great Lakes and Chicago waterways is needed to control the spread of the carp, with a report coming later this year, and for expanding sampling efforts in southern Lake Michigan, western Lake Erie and other “potential invasion spots.”
The voracious species is expected to create ecological damage if it reaches the Great Lakes in large numbers and begins to reproduce.