The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Invasive Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ICRCC) have announced the removal of a silver carp from Lake Calumet. The lake is part of the Chicago Area Waterway and is approximately seven miles from Lake Michigan.
The fish was captured Thursday, August 4th, by using gill nets and electro-fishing crews from the IDNR and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This was prompted by a reported sighting of an invasive carp by a member of the public earlier that week. The carp was 38.3 inches in length and weighed approximately 22 pounds.
Due to the capture of the carp, a response effort in the area of the captured fish has been triggered. This is to determine whether additional invasive carp could be present in Lake Calumet. IDNR states that is important to note that the capture of this silver carp does not mean they are established in Lake Calumet. That this does not indicate that a reproducing population of invasive carp exists above the electric dispersal barriers or within the Great Lakes.
This is the third time an invasive bighead or silver carp has been captured above the electric dispersal barriers since 2010. One of the other two occurrences happened in 2017 when a silver carp was captured in the Chicago Area Waterway System below T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam. And the other was an invasive bighead carp captured in Lake Calumet in 2010.
The IDNR and the ICRCC are committed to keeping the public informed and will update as soon as they can when they learn more about the captured silver carp. There will be continued sampling efforts in Lake Calumet and the Chicago Area Waterway Systems to keep checking for other possible silver carp and bighead carp making it passed the electric dispersal barriers.
More information on efforts to control invasive carp and on the Invasive Carp Regional Coordinating Committee can be found at https://invasivecarp.us/.