WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Federal lawmakers say they want the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers activate its new electrical fish barrier on the Chicago Ship Canal to ward off carp.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported Friday that the electric fence is considered the best hope for keeping the Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes.
The device was completed in spring 2006. A group of 29 federal lawmakers said in a letter to the corps that they want to know why the $9 million fence has yet to be turned on, the newspaper reported.
"We understand the need to thoroughly test the safety of the barrier and to establish safety guidelines to protect users of the canal, but these tests have lasted for many months," wrote members of the congressional coalition called the Great Lakes Task Force. "Meanwhile, Asian carp continue to head closer to the barrier."
Asian carp, which can grow to 100 pounds, were imported to Arkansas more than three decades ago and soon escaped their containment ponds. They have been migrating north since and have come within 45 miles of Lake Michigan.