October 4, 2022
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Corps of Engineers to test carp deterrence technology on Illinois River

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, and the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) plan to test invasive carp deterrence technology at the Peoria Lock and Dam on the Illinois River, River Mile 157.7. Work is planned for August 16 through August 18 from 6 a.m.- 6 p.m. for installation, and from August 29 through October 7, Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday from 7 – 11 a.m. and 1 – 5 p.m. for deterrence efficacy and navigation safety testing. Navigation will be closed during installation and while testing is conducted. These timeframes are subject to change, based upon river conditions.

Towboat operators are asked not to tie up on the guidewalls during installation and testing.

Testing includes fish removal efficacy testing and navigation safety testing, both of which will occur on each of 70 total runs over an approximate 40-day period. Test runs consist of driving a loaded six-barge tow with juvenile invasive carp placed for entrainment in a box-rake junction over a bubbler array in the downstream lock approach. Runs with and without the bubbler running would occur to provide a control to measure the bubbler’s effect. Measurable safety variables of interest include speed, yaw and lateral movement of the barge stemming from the continuous release of air from the air line. Carp removal testing includes counting the remaining fish dragged in the box-rake junction and measuring flow velocities in the junction gap. The study will be conducted mainly during daylight hours when the wicket gates are up and impounding water in the Peoria Pool. The purpose of the test is to evaluate fish removal efficacy and navigation safety when using bubbles to remove small invasive carp from the rake-box junction of a barge tow.

This involves the temporary installation of an anchored air hose and bubbler array in the downstream lock approach channel. The air hose will be attached to a series of anchors and the bubbler array will be anchored by the weight of the frame to hold it in place. Air will be fed through a hose from a diesel-powered air compressor located on the Peoria Lock and Dam Project grounds. The hose would be routed from the surface around the end of the lower guidewall to avoid interference with navigation. Weights will hold the hose to the bottom of the channel between the guidewall and the bubbler array. The hose and frames will be removed following completion of the study on or before October 7.



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