Illinois closes fishing at 2 lakes to battle carp

March 8, 2012

Associated Press

Two central Illinois lakes will be closed to fishing this year as the state battles invasive common carp.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says the Hennepin and Hopper Lakes in Putnam County will be closed to all public sport fishing. Both lakes are located 40 miles north of Peoria along the Illinois River.

The DNR has been working with The Wetlands Initiative, a nonprofit organization, to remove carp from the lakes over the last few years. Both lakes were drained in 2009, and a fish toxicant was applied to try to kill off the carp.

However, by last summer, ecologists realized that enough fish survived and have staged what they're calling a "carp comeback."

The Wetlands Initiative says it's tweaking the removal strategy to make the effort more successful.