Illinois officials downplay postive test for Asian Carp DNA near Lake Michigan

Jun 20, 2012

Illinois officials are downplaying the recent discovery of Asian Carp DNA in a waterway a short distance from Lake Michigan.

Asian Carp are an invasive species that experts fear could devastate fish native to the Great Lakes.

The Army Corps of Engineers routinely tests Illinois waterways for signs of the carp. One carp was caught a few years ago, just a few miles from Lake Michigan.

Chris McCloud is a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. He says a rapid response team spent two days searching the waterways for any signs of carp.

“Two contracted commercial fishermen deployed about 5.5 miles of gill nets throughout the area,” says McCloud.  “There were a lot of fish picked up, but no Asian carp.  No bighead or silver carp that we were looking for.”

McCloud says a second round of DNA testing is underway. He notes that past positive DNA tests have not led to the discovery of live Asian carp in the Chicago area.

Three electric barriers separate Chicago area waterways from carp-infested rivers and streams to the south.