Primer: Keeping Invasive Carp Out of the Great Lakes

On July 17th, 2023, NEMWI hosted a briefing focused on the Invasive Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ICRCC)’s current engagement in the region aimed at preventing the spread of invasive carp into the Great Lakes, including an overview of its 2023 Invasive Carp Action Plan. 

The introduction of Asian carp to the Great Lakes would greatly endanger the $7 billion fishery that helps fuel the region’s economy. These invasive species pose a significant threat to existing native fish populations, while also creating a dangerous safety risk to recreational boaters and other users of the Great Lakes, and thus would have a devastating impact on the region. In response to the threat, federal, state, local, and nongovernmental organizations have been crafting a multifaceted strategy to prevent the spread of invasive carp into the Great Lakes, especially through the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS).

The Invasive Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ICRCC) was formally established in early 2010 under the name Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee and represents the collective efforts of international, federal, state, and municipal agencies to combat the spread of invasive carp into the Great Lakes. The ICRCC provides oversight and coordination of interagency prevention activities through the development and implementation of an annual Invasive Carp Action Plan and complementary Monitoring and Response Plan. 

Speakers included:
Mike Weimer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Chris Korleski, Director, Great Lakes National Program Office, Environmental Protection Agency
Brian Schoenung, Aquatic Nuisance Species Program Manager, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Cindy Tam, Biological Threats & Invasive Species Research Program Coordinator, U.S. Geological Survey
Amy McGovern, Aquatic Invasive Species Program Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Midwest Region
Jeff Zuercher, Project Manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District
Scott Whitney, Chief of Project Management, Rock Island District
Loren Wobig, Director, Office of Water Management, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
John Navarro, Aquatic Invasive Species Administrator, Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Jen Brancho, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

A recording of the webinar can be accessed here.