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Wednesday, February 8 • 8:00am - 8:20am
Technical Session. The Duality of Asian Carp Monitoring: Protecting the Great Lakes While Providing Insight into Fish Species Distribution and Abundance in the Chicago Area Waterway System

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AUTHORS: Tristan Widloe, Stephen Pescitelli - Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fisheries

ABSTRACT: The Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) has received much attention in recent years due to increased recreational use resulting from improvements in water quality standards. Disinfection of wastewater was has been initiated at two of the three wastewater treatment facilities in Chicago. Additional improvements in water quality are expected as the Deep Tunnel project is completed, reducing combined sewer overflow events. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has been involved in habitat restoration projects, including stocking catchable-size Channel Catfish in the CAWS in 2015. Further attention on the CAWS due to concerns of upstream migration of Asian carp towards Lake Michigan led to intensive sampling upstream of the Electric Dispersal Barrier. Since 2010, approximately 875 hours of electrofishing and 372 miles of commercial netting have been completed as part of this monitoring effort. Aside from contributing to our understanding of Asian carp distribution and density, the results of Asian carp monitoring have served to augment previous data on fish species distribution and abundance in the CAWS. The extensive effort expended during Asian carp monitoring resulted in the identification of more than 72 species and 300,000 individuals. Recent Lake Michigan basin surveys completed by IDNR identified 36 species and 2,784 individuals in similar areas of the CAWS. This highlights the importance of by-catch collected during Asian carp monitoring to supplement existing data. This information may serve to direct future management decisions as water quality and habitat continue to improve throughout the CAWS bringing further attention to these urban waterways.

Wednesday February 8, 2017 8:00am - 8:20am CST
Grand Ballroom F

Attendees (3)