A new federal report finds barges could accidentally allow Asian carp to cross electric barriers designed to keep the invasive fish out of the Great Lakes.
Experts say the voracious and aggressive Asian carp pose such a threat to the native aquatic life in the Great Lakes that officials erected electric barriers to prevent them from entering the waterways.
But researchers with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say testing revealed that fish the size of smaller Asian carps could still penetrate electric barriers by being pulled along in water currents created by the passage of commercial barges.
In fact, in one test live fish were pulled about nine miles along the Illinois River through a shipping lock and barriers.
Federal officials say the study raises concerns.
But they maintain there is still time to devise additional methods to reduce the potential spread of Asian carp.