Asian Carp Alert: Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal Closure Planned

CHICAGO – From Oct. 4 to 11, access to the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal will be limited near Lemont, Ill., in the area where the electric fish barrier is located, announced the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee recently.

Restrictions will be enacted to allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to install underwater structures to limit electric current from spreading in the waterway. While the Army Corps installs the structures near the barrier, part of the canal will be closed, likely from mile marker 296.1 to mile marker 296.7.

The hours that the restrictions will be in effect are likely from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., CDT, from Oct. 4 to 11. Additional possible limitations would be implemented from Oct. 13 to 15 during the same hours, but only if work has not been completed by Oct. 11. The final phase of the structure installation will occur from Nov. 3 to 5.

The discovery of a 19.6-pound, nearly three-foot-long, Asian carp in Lake Calumet, about six miles between Lake Michigan and the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam in June, has left many with the fear that the carp has now penetrated the Great Lakes. There are unconfirmed reports that this particular carp was never a native of the Great Lakes but planted at this location. But the fact that the Great Lakes now appear within striking range of this fearsome predator leaves no option short of stepping up the pace of stopping Asian carp in their tracks.