Comment now on Great Lakes Asian carp proposal

By Taylor Ridderbusch

On Monday, Aug. 7, the US Army Corps of Engineers released the draft Brandon Road Feasibility Study, which assess options for preventing Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes.

The report was originally set to be released on Feb. 28, 2017, but was delayed by Trump Administration officials. Thanks to hard work from Great Lakes legislators, sportsmen and women from around the region, and other organizations, the study has been released and has initiated a 45-day comment period, which closes on October 2, 2017.

The study examines five possible alternatives for preventing the spread of invasives, particularly Asian carp, at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Joliet, Ill.

The preliminary preferred option outlined by the Army Corps, called the “Technology Alternative-Complex Noise with Electric Barrier” includes: complex noise, water jets, an engineered channel, an electric barrier and a flushing lock. Additionally, this alternative includes nonstructural activities (i.e. overfishing), new boat launches and a new mooring cell. For a full outline and definitions of these measures please visit the Corps’ Report Page.

TU supports the Corps recommendation as it provides for an increased array of protective measures. This is a step in the right direction, and will allow legislators and stakeholders more time to address complete Basin separation, which will ultimately be necessary to ensure that the Great Lakes are protected.

The “Technology Alternative-Complex Noise and Electric Barrier” has an initial estimated cost of $275.3 million. TU believes this is a justifiable expense for protecting the world’s largest freshwater system, which generates $16 billion though tourism and $7 billion via angling annually.

For the full report, click here. Comments, which will be accepted through Oct. 2, can be submitted here. Click here for Trout Unlimited’s action alert on the topic.

Taylor Ridderbusch oversees Trout Unlimited’s outreach efforts in the Great Lakes region.

By Mark Taylor. A native of rural southern Oregon, Mark Taylor has lived in Virginia since serving a stint as a ship-based naval officer in Norfolk. He joined the TU staff in 2014 after a 20-year run as a newspaper journalist, the final 16 as the outdoors editor of the Roanoke Times. A graduate of Northwestern University, he lives in Roanoke with his wife and, when they're home from college, his twin daughters.