Asian Carp detected in Chicago

Nov 11, 2019

CHICAGO, IL (MPRN)--   Environmental DNA tests last week were positive for Asian Carp in the Chicago River. 

Experts say additional research is needed but the DNA could be coming from a fish market. 

The positive Environmental DNA tests were cause for alarm. Officials with the Michigan DNR reiterated the urgency around installing a barrier to keep Asian Carp from reaching Lake Michigan. 

The tests were within Chicago – close to Lake Michigan – and showed multiple positive hits for Asian Carp.

Kevin Irons is with the Illinois DNR. He says scientists use environmental DNA as potential early indicator of Asian Carp presence, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the Carp are alive. 

“The US Army Corps of engineers did a study five or six years ago and it showed that eDNA was detectable in the sewers in the Chicago area, specifically out of Chinatown where they are readily eaten.”

It’s possible, Irons says, that a similar release from the sewers is causing the recent high count of Asian Carp eDNA. 

But, he says, researchers are doing additional testing to be sure.