Federal officials say they may have to ramp up power to electric barriers that are supposed to deter invasive Asian carp from reaching Lake Michigan via a Chicago shipping canal. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says a new round of tests shows the electric barriers work on larger Asian carp, but not tiny, larva-sized fish. It appears they don't to respond to the electric charges. The officials say there is no immediate threat to the Great Lakes.
"The closest location to the barrier that any actual very-small-sized Asian carp have been captured is River Mile 180, which is at Chillicothe-Illinois, approximately 116 miles downstream of the corp's electric barrier," says Charlie Wooley is with the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service.
Wildlife officials also say the carp appear to have slowed their approach to the Great Lakes.
John Goss is President Obama's Asian carp advisor: "The federal government and the Great Lakes states are working closely together to monitor the carp population and make sure it does not become established in the Great Lakes. The barrier system is just one part of the Obama administration's multi-tiered Asian carp strategy."
The state of Michigan is in court against the Obama administration. The state wants the Army Corps of Engineers to close the Chicago shipping locks while a permanent separation of the two water systems is built.