Ohio has partnered with two other states and the province of Ontario to develop a plan to block species of Asian carp from getting into the Great Lakes.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proposing new barriers in the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Jolie, Illinois, which connects to the lakes. A plan drafted by the Corps would spend $275 million on measures to block the carps' path, including an electric fish barrier, noisemakers and vessel cleansing devices.
Rich Carter, head of the fish management group for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, says Asian carp filter out food sources, which could decrease native fish populations.
“Well, game fish, and you know when I talk about game fish it’s the fish that anglers like to catch, so in Ohio specifically, it’s an $800 million sport fishery that would potentially be damaged,” Carter says. “We have valuable walleye populations, yellow perch populations and bass populations, and then within the Great Lakes, the fishery is valued at $7 billion. So there really is a lot at stake.”
Three species of invasive carp that are threatening the Great Lakes are Bighead, Silver and Black.
The interstate partnership, which also includes Michigan and Wisconsin, would temporarily cover most of the costs of operating and maintaining the system — about $8 million a year.
Carter says the barrier is set to be completed in 2025.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.