Obama Administration Releases 2012 Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework
The Obama Administration today announced a series of new measures to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp, building on the unprecedented proactive plan the Administration established in February 2010 to prevent this invasive species from developing self-sustaining populations in the Great Lakes.
The 2012 Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework adds several initiatives to the comprehensive effort to combat Asian carp, including expanding eDNA sampling to additional areas in the Great Lakes region, deploying new nets and other technologies to enhance Asian carp capture rates, and developing cutting-edge biological controls and monitoring technology, among other measures.
“This strategy builds on the unprecedented and effective plan we are implementing to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes while we determine the best long term solution,” said John Goss, Asian Carp Director at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “The 2012 Strategic Framework will strengthen our defenses against Asian carp and move even more innovative carp control projects from research into implementation.”
“With Congressional and Presidential support for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, we're getting results in shielding the Great Lakes from invasive species,” said Cameron Davis, Senior Advisor to the Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “Investing in a healthy Great Lakes means a healthy economy.”
“The Army Corps of Engineers is committed to protecting the Great Lakes from Asian carp. Our achievements in 2011 demonstrate the success of this integrated framework, of working together to keep the carp out of this treasured ecosystem. Our success further motivates us to accomplish new initiatives in 2012,” said Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.
“Protecting the Great Lakes ecosystems and fisheries from invasion by the Asian carp is a significant challenge, and confronting this issue is a major priority for us as part of an unprecedented overall effort under the Obama administration,” said DOI Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks Rachel Jacobson. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey are working on the ground as part of an intensive, comprehensive strategy to stop the spread of Asian carp in the Great Lakes.”
The Obama Administration has invested more than $100 million dollars to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp and formed an Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) in 2009 to ensure a comprehensive and effective response. Led by the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the ACRCC includes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, and all Great Lakes states, as well as the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, and the City of Chicago.
The Administration released the original Asian Carp Framework in February 2010 to develop and implement effective Asian carp controls and keep the invasive species from establishing a self-sustaining population in the Great Lakes while a permanent solution is developed. Updates to the Framework in 2012 include:
- Deploying new alternate traps and nets and other technologies to enhance Asian carp capture rates.
- Implementing eDNA sampling at Great Lakes areas of concern with particular focus on southern Lake Michigan, western Lake Erie and other potential hotspots.
- Ensuring continued electrical barrier effectiveness through expanded use of telemetry and split beam hydro-acoustic monitoring.
- Refining water guns to repel carp and evaluate their effectiveness at repelling juvenile and larval Asian carp.
- Assessing the feasibility of using pheromones to capture and remove Asian carp.
- Identifying potential compounds for inclusion in a toxicant screening program for controlling Asian carp.
- Developing targeted control systems for Asian carp based on species-specific digestive system characteristics.
- Expanding law enforcement surveillance and enforcement of illegal transportation of federally listed invasive species.
- Increase Asian carp outreach and education efforts through the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network.
Key actions completed since 2010 include:
- Enhanced the fish barrier system to include strengthened electric barriers, physical barricades to stop Asian carp migration during floods, and closed off smaller waterway connections to the Great Lakes.
- Utilized emergency authority provided through Section 126 of Energy and Water Development Act of 2010 to block flood waters from the Des Plaines River with a 13-mile fish barrier and a permanent block in the Illinois and Michigan Canal to keep Asian carp from crossing into the Chicago Waterway.
- Installed a 1,500 foot fish barrier fence at Eagle Marsh, near Fort Wayne, IN, to block advancement of Asian carp from the Wabash to the Maumee and Lake Erie.
- Identified 18 other pathways across all the Great Lakes states with the potential to transfer aquatic invasive species between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins.
- Implemented the Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act following President Obama’s signing of the bill on December 14, 2010. This legislation prohibits live bighead carp from being shipped or imported across state and national lines.
- Conducted more than 40,000 hours of netting, electrofishing and other monitoring.
For more information and to read the 2012 Framework, please visit: www.asiancarp.us.