Electric Fish Barrier for Protecting Iowa Lakes

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An electric fish barrier protects Iowa lakes.

An electric barrier to stop Asian carp from getting into the Iowa Great Lakes is now in place.

The site of the barrier still needs to be restored, but the roughly one million dollar project is an important step in preventing the spread of invasive species.

Physical barriers can disrupt natural water flow or accumulate debris, but an electric barrier can be activated if there is a high water level situation to stop the fish from moving while the water current pushes the fish back to where it came from.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and commercial anglers in the Iowa Great Lakes found invasive species of silver carp and big head carp.

Mike Hawkins, fisheries biologist with the Iowa DNR said: “Ecologically, these fish are filter feeders and will compete with young fish for food. They are not likely to reproduce here because studies show they prefer large rivers for spawning.”

The carp are a problem for local fisheries with silver carp a potential boating hazard because they like to jump out of the water and can grow to approximately 50 pounds.

What do you think? Are electric barriers an effective way of preventing the spread of invasive fish species?

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