More Asian Carp DNA found in Chicago lake

Thanks to our friend and site content contributor Marc Smith, we have begun following the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ website out of the Chicago District through its Aquatic Nuisance Species Portal – link:

As many likely know by now, there have been additional positive DNA samplings for Asian Carp in Lake Calumet which is the largest water body in the City of Chicago.  Both the lake and river  connect directly to Lake Michigan and are well downstream of the electric “barriers.”   As of July 6, 2012, 24 of the now 28 positive DNA test for the Silver strain of Asian Carp have come from the lake and connecting river.

The only remotely positive bit of news associated with this most recent event, especially for those of us who were beginning to believe that in this instance DNA stands for “Do Not Acknowledge,” is that in accordance with the Monitoring and Response Plan this now triggers a “Level 1” response.  This will require netting and electro-fishing in the lake in an effort to determine whether the DNA being found is attributable to the presence of actual fish, or through more indirect means which may not require the presence of fish beyond the “barrier” in order to cause positive test results.  Let’s all hope that this IS in fact a comprehensive survey which will credibly determine the presence of, or absence of actual fish.

Here’s the report from the Army Corps website:

Aquatic Nuisance Species Portal

6 July 2012 – eDNA Surveillance Status Map

The ACRCC Monitoring and Rapid Response Work Group (MRRWG) is taking action based on these results.  Since the results from Lake Calumet are the third consecutive set of positive eDNA hits this year, the MRRWG will conduct a Level 1 response event in Lake Calumet 10-13 July, as outlined in the Monitoring and Rapid Response Plan. A combination of netting (including the deployment of new specialized pound nets, 1/2 mile long commercial seine, 6-ft. diameter hoop nets and surface-to-bottom gill nets) and electrofishing will be used.  The pound nets will be used for the first time in Lake Calumet since being developed by the MRRWG and the Gear Development team, and will have boat-ways, or sections of the net with buoys and signs showing how to get boats in and out of the lake.  This net will effectively isolate Lake Calumet and prevent fish movement in and out of the lake.  This net will likely stay in place for a few weeks even after the Level 1 response.  Fish will be checked daily throughout the operation. eDNA samples will also be collected prior to the event.

Regular eDNA sampling will also occur on Tuesday (10 July) at the North Shore Channel and Chicago Lock/River sites.

For full details on the 2012 Monitoring and Rapid Response plan, please visit

The map below shows results for samples collected on 25 June from Lake Calumet and Little Calumet River.

For ongoing, detailed Asian carp sampling results, please visit


About Northern Michigan Conservation Network

The mission of the Northern Michigan Conservation Network is to "connect conservation-minded hunters, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts to those issues affecting Michigan's forests, waters, and wildlife."

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