Silver fish of all sizes washed up today amid the garbage floating along the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, but, so far, none of the dreaded Asian carp that officials hoped for have turned up.
On Wednesday, a group of scientists poured 2,200 gallons of the fish poison rotenone into six miles of the canal south of Chicago in what was planned as the biggest fish kill in Illinois history, potentially wiping out 200,000 pounds of fish.
“We are in the very beginning stages of salvage,” John Rogner, Illinois Department of Natural Resources assistant director, said this morning. “If there aren’t any Asian carp, we still believe it was an essential operation.
It’s possible Asian carp were killed but weren’t detected.” Scientists hope the poison will kill any Asian bighead and silver carp in the vicinity of an electric barrier that was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in an effort to keep the destructive species out of Lake Michigan.
Though the operation is costing nearly $3 million, it does nothing to provide a long-term solution to keeping the massive jumping carp — whose presence could potentially devastate sport and commercial fishing throughout the Great Lakes — out of Lake Michigan.