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Identify potential lock treatment options to prevent movement of aquatic invasive species through the Chicago Area Waterways System (CAWS)

January 14, 2016


The Illinois River is a primary tributary of the Mississippi River, connecting with the Mississippi at Grafton, Illinois. The headwaters of the river are at the confluence of the Des Plaines and Kankakee Rivers in eastern Grundy County, Illinois. Approximately 273 miles long, it runs through the heart of Illinois and is the connection between the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan in the Great Lakes basin. Because of this connection, there is concern about the potential for introduced aquatic species in one basin to migrate through this connection into the other basin. A prime example of this are the Asian carps, which were introduced into commercial fishing ponds in Arkansas in the 1970s and, following escape, are now making their way up the Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri Rivers. Options are being investigated to minimize or prevent non-native aquatic species from invading either basin through the Illinois River connection and eventually having detrimental impacts on the basin into which they migrate.

The Illinois River has a series of locks and dams that are used to facilitate the navigation of commercial and recreational shipping from Chicago to Beardstown, Illinois. One option under consideration is to develop a lock treatment process that stops aquatic invasive species from entering (and moving through) the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS), while at the same time not unduly impeding the movement of barges and other boat traffic between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River. The purpose this report was to evaluate the feasibility of using chemical and (or) physical treatments to determine if a sufficiently efficacious option could be used to prevent aquatic invasive species from being transported through the locks. Approximately 30 chemical and physical control options were evaluated on the basis of nine factors ranging from viability for use on a large scale, rapid lethality, human health effects, and potential damage to lock structures and vessel hulls.

Compatibility of the various options was also evaluated to assess the possibility that options could be combined to enhance efficacy. Engineering requirements were not considered as part of this evaluation. The available information suggests that hot water at 43 °C and ozone are the most feasible options.

Publication Year 2016
Title Identify potential lock treatment options to prevent movement of aquatic invasive species through the Chicago Area Waterways System (CAWS)
DOI 10.3133/ofr20161001
Authors Terrance D. Hubert, Michael A. Boogaard, Kim T. Fredricks
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2016-1001
Index ID ofr20161001
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center