No Asian carp were found during a three-day intensive search for the invasive species in Lake Calumet within the Chicago Area Waterway System. The search was triggered after three consecutive rounds of Environmental DNA sampling yielded positive results for silver carp DNA.
While Lake Calumet is regularly monitored for the presence of Asian carp, the search added commercial fishing crews as well as electrofishing boats, larger sweeping nets, and additional sampling gear to the area last week by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Geological Survey, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and Illinois Natural History Survey of the University of Illinois.
The sweep also involved new net technologies developed specifically for Asian carp including nets to prevent fish movement into and out of Lake Calumet. These nets will remain in place throughout the next week to gather further information. These nets may prove to be valuable in other places throughout the Illinois River.
The three-day intensive search yielded more than 6,300 fish from more than 30 different species, with no bighead or silver carp seen or captured during the efforts.
Lake Calumet, which sits approximately six miles south of Lake Michigan within the Calumet River, has been routinely sampled by Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committeecrews an average of four times per month looking for Asian carp.