The presence of the fish species Asian carp was detected 9 miles from Lake Michigan. Earlier this week, a fisherman caught the live species from the Calumet River, which is near Lake Michigan. This incident prompted the fishermen to check if there are more Asian carp – who consume plankton gluttonously – in the region, which may have gotten past the electric barriers. These electric barriers were installed to keep these fish out from the Great Lakes for the survival of other fish species.

Adult carp discovered

The captured fish species was an adult silver carp, weighing 8 pounds and 28 inches long.

The discovery comes at a time when President Trump is suggesting a budget, which would likely signal an end to the efforts of keeping invasive fish species (including the Asian carp) out the Great Lakes.

The administration has also declined to launch news studies that can come up with new proposals on how to stop the fish species (in the Illinois River) from shifting upstream. The fish species have already damaged the ecosystem on the River Illinois. This is not the first instance of a live Asian carp being discovered beyond the three barricades installed in the Sanitary and Ship Canal, which is near Romeoville, but the second occasion. The first time a carp was found was back in 2010. At the time a bighead carp was discovered in Lake Calumet.

Post the bighead carp’s discovery, the Great Lakes officials tried in vain to force close the shipping locks that separated Lake Michigan from other inland waterways. Since that detection, officials concentrated on maintaining the installed barriers apart from checking for the species in the waterways. The officials have also paid commercial fishermen to hunt for these fish species and thin their population in the Illinois River.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, under which the above-mentioned actions are enlisted, is a $5 million annual program that the Trump administration is trying to close.

Have the species invaded the Great Lakes?

Officials on Friday, June 23 stated that the discovery of a single fish, which managed to evade the electric barrier does not necessarily mean that the Asian carp are growing their population in Lake Michigan or near the lake.

However, despite this assertion, they have planned to carry out a detailed sampling in the coming weeks. This sampling will be conducted on the Calumet River dam, as well as both sides of the T.J. O'Brien Lock.