Asian carp work will limit waterway access

Published online: Sep 20, 2010 News Trade Only Today

Access to the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal will be limited Oct. 4-11 near Lemont, Ill., in the area where an electric fish barrier is located, the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee recently announced.

Restrictions will be enacted to allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to install underwater structures to limit electric current from spreading in the waterway.

The discovery in June of an Asian carp in Lake Calumet, about six miles between Lake Michigan and the T.J. O'Brien Lock and Dam, has left many with the fear that the carp has now penetrated the Great Lakes, according to the Great Lakes Boating Federation.

"There are unconfirmed reports that this particular carp was never a native of the Great Lakes, but planted at this location," the federation said in a statement. "But the fact that the Great Lakes now appear within striking range of this fearsome predator leaves no option short of stepping up the pace of stopping Asian carp in their tracks, dead or alive."

This scheduled closing of part of the waterway comes during the time period that is reserved for the return of Chicago's 7,000 boats to their winter storage yards.

"This order, implemented at this date, could play a role in shortening the boating season for those that would prefer to lengthen their stays at the harbors," the federation said. "The Great Lakes Boating Federation strongly advises caution, staying away from the river surface while transiting through the barriers."

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