Chicago waterway closed to boat traffic

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An area of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal is closed to boat traffic because of an increase in the voltage, frequency and pulse length of the Electric Fish Dispersal Barrier.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built the Aquatic Nuisance Species Barrier to protect the Great Lakes from the threat of Asian carp. The barrier was initially operated at 1 volt per inch but was increased to 2 volts per inch Aug. 12 to repel juvenile Asian carp.

The waterway is closed to all non-metallic-hull vessels and all vessels under 20 feet. A decision to open the waterway will not be considered until the Corps completes safety tests on the barrier at the higher voltage.

If the canal is reopened to recreational traffic, the Corps recommends that boaters stay out of the water completely, and either closely supervise children and pets or send them below deck. Boaters are also advised not to linger near the barrier.

For information on the safety zone and waterway closures, visit the Coast Guard Web site, call (216) 902-6020, or click here for transiting (under tow) information.

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