Electric Barrier Appears To Have Kept Invasive Fish Out Of Iowa Great Lakes

Dickinson County, Iowa — The National Weather Service says parts of the Iowa Great Lakes saw the second highest flooding on record in June and July. The flooding caused concerns about invasive fish getting into the lakes.

State fisheries biologist Mike Hawkins says high water allows the unwanted fish to swim upstream over the top of two dams near the Iowa Great Lakes. He says they seem to be stopping at the electric barrier officials and community members installed six years ago.

Biologists are not sure if the barrier is holding back all of the fish, because they aren’t tagged. Biologists first saw these fish in the lakes in 2011. Hawkins says one species is a real concern because it can jump high out of the water.

Hawkins tweaked the electric fence earlier this year as the flood waters came up to try and prevent any fish from getting through. Hawkins says even if some carp swam through, they don’t tend to spawn in lakes He says sampling techniques used for other fish in the Great Lakes have not caught any Asian Carp, which is a good sign.

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