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Water-quality sampling plan for evaluating the distribution of bigheaded carps in the Illinois Waterway

February 27, 2017

The two nonnative invasive bigheaded carp species (bighead carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and silver carp H. molitrix) that were accidentally released in the 1970s have spread widely into the rivers and waterways of the Mississippi River Basin. First detected in the lower reaches of the Illinois Waterway (IWW, the combined Illinois River-Des Plaines River-Chicago Area Waterway System) in the 1990s, bighead and silver carps moved quickly upstream, approaching the Chicago Area Waterway System. The potential of substantial negative ecological and economic impact to the Great Lakes from the presence of these species is a concern. However, since 2006, the population front of bigheaded carps has remained in the vicinity of Joliet, Illinois, near river mile 278. This reach of the IWW is characterized by stark changes in habitat, water quality, and food resources as the waterway transitions from a primarily agricultural landscape to a metropolitan and industrial canal system. This report describes a 2015 plan for sampling the IWW to establish water-quality conditions that might be contributing to the apparent stalling of the population front of bigheaded carps in this reach. A detailed description of the study plan, Lagrangian-style sampling approach, selected analytes, sampling methods and protocols are provided. Hydrographs from streamflow-gaging stations show IWW conditions during the 2015 sampling runs.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2017
Title Water-quality sampling plan for evaluating the distribution of bigheaded carps in the Illinois Waterway
DOI 10.3133/ofr20171019
Authors James J. Duncker, Paul J. Terrio
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2017-1019
Index ID ofr20171019
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Illinois Water Science Center