New effort launched to pinpoint how close Asian carp are to Great Lakes

May 23, 2011

AP Wires

(Getty/Scott Olson)
Worker with the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Cmte put a fish toxicant into the Little Calumet River on Friday.

Federal and state officials are beginning a series of projects to pinpoint how close Asian carp are to the Great Lakes and reduce their numbers in Chicago-area waterways near Lake Michigan. 

The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee released a $7 million monitoring and sampling plan Monday. 

It uses a variety of techniques to determine how many of the invasive fish are in the Chicago waters, remove as many as possible, and detect any flaws in an electric barrier designed to block their path to Lake Michigan.

In addition to netting and electrofishing, officials say they'll add new tools, including an underwater camera that can help determine whether fish are getting through the barrier.

Biologists say if Asian carp become established in the Great Lakes, they could starve out other species.