Electrical level of Asian carp barrier increased

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced this week that it is restoring a higher power setting on an electric barrier designed to prevent Asian carp and other fish from using a Chicago-area waterway to migrate between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River systems.

“The Corps remains committed to operating the barriers safely and effectively,” district commander Col. Frederic Drummond said. "We have high confidence in the effectiveness of the barriers and continue to work with our partners and stakeholders to assess the Asian carp threat and make informed decisions regarding barrier operations.”

The barrier is one of three in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, part of a man-made waterway linking Lake Michigan to the Mississippi basin. The canal could provide a pathway to the Great Lakes for the carp.

In a statement Monday, officials said baby Asian carp had been observed in spawning areas more than 150 miles from Lake Michigan, but were not believed to be near the electric barrier.

Scientists have detected Asian carp DNA beyond the barrier. But the corps says it has tagged numerous fish in the area, and none have swum upstream through the electric field.

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