Carp Barrier Finished For Years, Never Activated

A $9 million electric Asian carp barrier built to keep these enormous invasive fish out of the Great Lakes was completed in 2006. But it was never turned on because of confusion over what agencies have jurisdiction over the project. I covered this story in 2005, when it looked like a solution was just about finished (see Electrical Barrier To Keep Asian Carp Out Of Great Lakes for more pictures and details).

Asian carp, which weigh up to 100 pounds, were imported into the US for use as bottom feeders in catfish farm ponds in the lower Mississippi. The carp found their way into the Mississippi when the river flooded (who could have predicted that?) in the 1990's. Now they're moving north.

The only path that the carp have to the Great Lakes is an artificial waterway called the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. The electric barrier is a system of underwater electrodes that should prevent the fish from migrating up the canal.

(Asian carp barrier location map)

Wildlife biologists fear for the Great Lakes fish species that will perish when out-competed for resources by the Asian carp. The Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies are concerned about the high voltage electrodes, particularly if volatile cargoes like gasoline are transiting on the surface of the canal.

Last week, a letter from 29 US senators and representatives and another letter from the eight Great Lakes governors moved the Coast Guard to agree to turn the barrier on - but only at quarter-strength. Wildlife biologists don't think this will be enough, and the Coast Guard doesn't want it turned up higher. Impasse again.

The Great Lakes have enough problems without giant carp added to the mix. I find it incredible that this $9 million project was completed and yet it cannot be utilized. Carp have been sighted within fifty miles of the barrier;

Science fiction author Roger Zelazny wrote a series of excellent stories published as My Name is Legion in 1976. One of them is set in a marine park in Florida. The park is divided into four separate areas by sonic curtains, which are described as a "sound barrier" that protects the species in the park. Each sonic curtain is controlled by a switches on the bottom; in an unusual touch, dolphins in the park teach each other how to use the controls so they can move freely.

Read many more details at The Tribune.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/18/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Biology ")

Svalbard Seed Vault (aka Doomsday Vault) Gets Upgrades
'But they existed in the Life Bank, as did virtually every plant and animal that existed on Old Earth.' - John Varley, 1977.

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?' - Niven, Pournelle, Flynn, 1995.

Hackers Insert Malware Into DNA
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!' -

Worms Eat Plastic Now
'Slowly and inexorably, the rate of dissolution increased...' - Davis/Pedlar, 1971.



Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.






Current News

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

TMS Decreases Belief In God, Increases Belief In Immigrants
'... setting up the same currents, the same basic ideas, in them all.'

Loomo Mini Transporter Robot Companion You Ride On
'Slowly the [robot] horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.'

Soft Robotics - Now With 3D Printed Sensors!
'A series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce the amount of pressure necessary to snap a bone...'

AI Tool Lynx Insight And The Cybernetic Newsroom
'The structure,... was once a great homeostatic newspaper, the New York Times. It printed itself directly below us...'

Espresso Telescope Searches For Exoplanets
'These instruments were the wonderful ones our astronomers had perfected.'

Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme.

Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
'The glittering little rocket bolted to the black iron behind him.'

Astronaut Gets Younger In Space
'So what we're looking for now is not an antibiotic - an anti-life drug - but an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug...'

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.'

IJOP Integrated Joint Operations Platform China's Minority Report?
'All day long the idiots babbled, imprisoned in their special high-backed chairs...'

HushMe Bluetooth Device Reinvents The Hush-A-Phone
'Talking into a hush-a-phone which he had plugged into the telephone jack...'

Ultrathin Brain Needle Developed At MIT
Putting drugs into a selected cubic millimeter within the living brain.

Tesla Semi Truck Now At Work
Why wait? Tesla Semi now hard at work.

Illustris: The Next Generation Of Universe Simulation
'This digital device was ... A machine able literally to contain the Universe Itself...'

Scaly Yet Soft Robotic Snake
Love those robotic sneks.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.