Asian Carp are filter feeders, feeding on zooplankton, phytoplankton and organic particles that are suspended in water columns. They have a very large filtering capacity and their maximum size can reach greater than 3 feet long and 100 pounds (Butz, pg. 20). They have been found in the Illinois River since the 1990's. The problem is that to grow to that size, they have voracious appetites. The Long Term Resource Monitoring Program (LTRMP) have been catching them in the routine monitoring of the La Grange Reach, Illinois River since 1995 and 1998. The population has increased rapidly since 2000 and now dominates the fish community on the La Grange Reach (Sharp, pg. 42). They are in constant contest for the same feeding grounds with river fishes such as gizzard shad and bigmouth buffalo and the shad and buffalo are losing. In fact, the buffalo and gizzard are not being eaten, they continue to lose size and weight until they die so they are just being starved out.
Most recently Asian Carp DNA has been found east of the Chicago lock which is just 8 miles from the entrance into Lake Michigan. There has now been a great deal of controversy over closing the Chicago lock and canal. The canal and lock manage most of the shipping business for the State of Illinois as well as the sewage from Chicago. ...Show more