SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota and agencies all over the region are facing a common problem, Asian carp. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is trying to convince Michigan lawmakers why a 10-year, $830 million plan to boost certain dams is the best way to prevent Asian Carp, and possibly other invasive species, from entering Lake Michigan.
They’ve discussed an air bubble curtain, sound waves, more electrical barriers and a flushing system to keep the fish out.
Now the invasive species is hitting parts of Eastern KELOLAND. They’re just fish, but you don’t want to catch them in the lakes and rivers you love. Recently, officials found Asian carp in the Big Sioux River in Sioux Falls.
Someone first spotted them in Vermillion along the Missouri River back in 2005, and they have also infested the James River at Yankton and migrated all the way into North Dakota.
State agencies want to keep them out because they could ruin ecosystems. Once they invade, it’s hard to get rid of them. According to the National Park Service, they grow and spread quickly.
Officials say they can get into waters by jumping over low barriers and they can spread when flooding connects bodies of water. Once they infest waters, they essentially push out the native species. Experts also believe they lower water quality, which can kill other organisms that are already there.
Their jumping can be dangerous to people. They jump so fast and forcefully, they can hurt you and damage equipment.
That’s why Iowa officials spent more than a million dollars in Okoboji to keep them out of the Great Lakes.
We looked at this device, an electric barrier, when they installed it. On tonight’s Eye on KELOLAND, we’re returning to Okoboji to find out if the barrier is working all these years later.