Lake Erie Walleye
Summer 2004 Issue
Walleye Fact File
Corps of Engineers vs. carp: The fight for the Great Lakes
Asian carp are in for a big shock. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is finishing plans to build a $6.7 million electric fence in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to stop the hungry, bottomfeeding fish from entering Lake Michigan.
If Asian carp crossed into the Great Lakes, they would pose a greater threat to Lake Erie than any of the other invasive species so far because they could devastate the perch and walleye fish populations, said Jeff Reutter, an aquatic nuisance species expert with the Ohio Sea Grant program. "The result would be fewer perch and walleye in the lake," Reutter said. "The dominant species would be the carp."
Asian carp eat up to 40 percent of their body weight daily, grow up to 1 00 pounds and have no natural predators. They are working their way up the Mississippi River, where they have displaced other fish and now represent more than five out of every 10 fish in the river.
Officials from the federal level on down want to contain the fish so it does not cross into the Great Lakes through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, the only direct link between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. The carp escaped from fish farms during floods.
The new fence would be a permanent barrier and would reinforce a smaller demonstration fence built two years ago, said Charles Shea, the corps' project manager who was a guest speaker at a three-day Great Lakes conference in Cleveland this week. The existing barrier is wearing out. Its cables are corroding and one has failed, Shea said. It was designed to last three to five years.
Planning is to finish this month and construction will start in June, he said. The goal is to have the project done by late September.
Workers will secure up to 50 steel rails to the bottom of the channel.
Electricity will run through the rails. Like an invisible fence for dogs, it is designed to make fish feel uncomfortable with an unpleasant tingle that grows stronger as they swim up the channel. The intensity will induce fish to turn around. The current, however, will be safe for human contact.
The corps will put $5 million toward the project and the state of Illinois will put in $1.7 million.
The project was made a No.1 priority for the corps earlier this year after senators and representatives from the Great Lakes states learned the agency planned to delay the project for another year because of a lack of money.
The corps found the money in its budget.
The new barrier will have two separate sets of rails so if power is lost to one set, the other set will remain electrified. Each barrier will have a separate power source as well as backup power in case of a blackout.
Reprinted from The Fishline, a publication of the Southtowns Walleye Association, the nations largest walleye club.
Castalia's Fish Hatchery Provide Statewide Trout Angling Opportunities
Rainbow trout obtained from London State Fish Hatchery, are also raised at the Castalia Hatchery for the inland lakes catchable trout program, The Division stocks 85,000 rainbows measuring 10 to 13 inches in lakes across the state each spring and 25,000 each fall, creating rare trout fishing opportunities for local communities. For a list of stocking dates for spring 2004, log on the Division's Web page atwww.ohiodnr.com.
Rainbow trout have been bred for many generations for specific growth and survival characteristics, explains Insley. They are easy to raise, grow fast, convert food well, and can withstand warm water temperatures often associated with Ohio's small inland lakes. They show all the characteristics of a domestic fish - if approached, they will come to you looking for food. This makes them a good fish for the inland stocking program as "put and take" fish. They are expected to be caught easily and within a few weeks of being stocked.
Steelhead trout, on the other hand, are "wild" fish with a quick flight response and intolerance for human presence. This leads to long-term survival, which makes these trout a good fish for the Lake Erie stocking program. Unlike salmon, these fish do not die after spawning and can live up to seven years. The state record steelhead trout was caught in Lake Erie in October 1996 weighing in at 20.97 pounds and measuring 36.5 inches.
As for physical appearance, the London rainbows have a short, fat, football-shaped body, while the Manistee steelead have a skinnier, longer appearance, sometimes twice as long as rainbow trout.
This information first appeared in Spring 2004 issue of "Wild Ohio" and is reprinted courtesy of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife.
Lake Erie Walleye and Yellow Perch Fisheries Quotas Announced for 2004
The Lake Erie Committee of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission has reduced
the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for walleye and increased the TAC for yellow
perch in 2004, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR)
Division of Wildlife.