Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Potential Asian Carp Hotspots?

On my recent visit to Chicago, I wanted to familiarize myself with potential routes for Asian carp to get to Lake Michigan. When you hear talk of "closing the locks", one of these is on the Chicago River (actually in Lake Michigan) near Navy Pier. The other is the Thomas J. O'Brien Lock on the Calumet River, #6 on the map below. 

 Map from:  http://www.glmris.anl.gov/

As close as I could get to the Lock
 Unfortunately I could not get close to the lock to take photos (and there was a push-boat heading into the lock at the time I got there, which would have added interest).  Where there was once a public viewing area and restrooms, now was behind a fence with a very serious sign informing you that there is no entry, no photo taking, no note taking, map making, sketching, etc.  I assume this is in response to national security concerns, not fear of environmentalists coming to dump rocks in the canal.

I also visited the mouth of the Portage-Burns Waterway, also known as Burns Ditch, at Burns Harbor (# 5 on the map). There is a nice beach here that is part of the Indiana Dunes National Seashore. To the east are the Midwest Steel and Bethlehem Steel plants, hard on the lake shore. I guess we are spoiled here in Northern Michigan.
Portage Burns Waterway looking N towards Lake Michigan

Outlet of Portage Burns Waterway at Lake Michigan.

The Portage Burns Waterway is connected to the Little Calumet River and the Cal-Sag Canal to the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.   These waterways are above (north) of the electric barrier (#7 on map).
----Tom K.

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