LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has pledged $8 million to an Asian carp barrier at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Illinois. Asian carp threatens other fish populations with its ability to grow to huge sizes and swim long distances. They are also filter feeders that prey on smaller fish that other species eat.
Senior Water Policy Advisor with the DNR, Dr. Tammy Newcomb, says Asian carp pose a huge threat to our Great Lakes. “When they get in very large numbers the experience has been that they actually crowd other fish out in rivers when they come in and they’re doing their spawning congregations,” she said.
The barrier will be comprised of several blocking techniques including an electric barrier, underwater sound, an air bubble curtain, and a flushing lock. While there haven’t been any live Asian carp spotted in the Great Lakes, Dr. Newcomb says this barrier is a preventative measure that will ensure they won’t spread to our waters. “This is really important for us to do this preventative action to protect the Great Lakes into the future, because once these fish get into the Great Lakes it will be difficult, it will be impossible to get them out,” she said.
The Brandon Road project is currently waiting for approval from Congress.