Keeping Asian Carp Out of Eagle Marsh

By Rachel Martin

December 5, 2012 Updated Dec 5, 2012 at 12:25 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – A public hearing was held Tuesday where the Army Corps of Engineers proposed ideas on how to keep aquatic nuisance species, like Asian Carp, from spreading to other watersheds.

Those jumping Asian Carp are causing trouble by jumping from one body of water to another, where they aren't welcome. But, the Army Corps of Engineers says Asian Carp aren't the biggest threat to Eagle Marsh's wildlife.

Instead, it's a deadly infectious disease called viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS. It’s carried by over 50 species of fish, including the Asian Carp.

Engineers say during flood periods, Eagle Marsh serves as a pathway from the Mississippi River to the Great Lakes, and aids in spreading species like the Asian Carp—which poses a threat to ecosystems.

Tuesday night at the Allen County Public Library, the Army Corps of Engineers presented nine ideas on how to prevent spreading, three of which are considered to be "highly effective."

Betsy Yankowiak, Director of Preserves and Programs for the Little River Wetlands Project, says they're looking for a solution that keeps the bad out, while preserving the good.

“We have over 200 bird species seen at Eagle Marsh plus a very vibrant salamander and frog population along with turtles, and so we want to make sure that we're going to do minimal impact,” she said.

Yankowiak says Eagle Marsh already has a barrier fence in place. Suggestions include building a concrete wall in its place, or constructing a berm, a large mound of soil, around the fence.

The Army Corps of Engineers is asking for the public's feedback on which suggestion is best. Go to www.glmris.anl.gov to submit your comments, or click on "Eagle Marsh" under News Links on our homepage. They’ll be accepting comments through Jan. 14.

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