Media Release

October 3, 2002

IJC Funds Testing of Potential Second Barrier to Stop Asian Carp

The International Joint Commission (IJC) has issued a contract to bring experts from the United Kingdom to assist with the collective efforts to prevent Asian carp, and other invasive species, from entering the Great Lakes through the Chicago canal that connects the Great Lakes with the Mississippi River basin by way of the Illinois River.

In July the IJC alerted the Governments of the United States and Canada to the need for immediate action to prevent the Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. In August, the IJC brought key representatives from U.S. federal, state and local agencies together to discuss what actions are needed and how the agencies could collectively support these actions. As part of this collective effort, the IJC is issuing the contract to address an immediate need.

Initial results from experiments that are currently being undertaken by the Illinois Natural History Survey indicate that the present electric barrier in the canal shows promise, but may not be 100 percent effective in preventing the upstream movement of Asian carp. Therefore, other barrier types, such as acoustic and bubble barriers, should also be assessed individually and in conjunction with the electric barrier. The IJC issued the contract to bring experts from Fish Guidance Systems, Ltd. to evaluate the ability of acoustic and bubble barriers to prevent further migration of Asian carp through a series of controlled experiments in hatchery raceways

The IJC is a binational organization established by the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help Canada and the United States prevent and resolve disputes over use of waters along their common boundary. Under the 1978 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, IJC reports on progress by the two countries to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem.

Frank Bevacqua
IJC Washington
(202) 736-9024
Fabien Lengellé
IJC Ottawa
(613) 995-0088

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