Asian Carp Breaks Barrier

7/21/11 – There’s more evidence that the invasive Asian carp has gone beyond the electronic barrier that’s supposed to keep them out of Lake Michigan. The Army Corps of Engineers said nine water samples taken in recent weeks showed positive D-N-A evidence that the dreaded carp got past the long-established barrier. Seven of the positive samples turned up in Lake Calumet, which is just south of downtown Chicago. It has direct access to Lake Michigan. The other two D-N-A confirmations came from a spot near the downtown, and a nearby branch of the Chicago River. The nine samples are among dozens confirmed by D-N-A evidence. But only one actual Asian carp has been spotted beyond the electronic barrier – and that was a 19-pounder caught by a fisherman hired by the state of Illinois. Attorney Tom Cmar of the Natural Resources Defense Council said the Army Corps has been telling people for months that there’s no evidence its barrier has not been working perfectly – and the Corps can only say that without considering the D-N-A samples. The Army Corps has not commented beyond what it said on its Web site. The Asian carp was imported by fish farmers a number of years ago. They’ve gobbled up native fish and their food in the Mississippi River – and Wisconsin and other states are trying to shut down the Mississippi’s water link to Lake Michigan so the invasive fish does not hurt the Great Lakes’ massive fishing industry.