Asian Carp Are Back Near Lake

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Decatur - Dead fish in the Sangamon River are leaving a foul smell near the Lake Decatur dam.  The fish kill also reveals Asian Carp are still at the base of the dam.

Asian Carp are large and can leap several feet into the air.  They can damage water craft and injure boaters.  Their appetites destroy food sources for popular game fish such as bass.

"It would be devastating to recreational opportunities on the lake," said Keith Alexander, Director of Water Management for the city of Decatur.

The city is in the process of having a consultant study ways to keep the fish from entering the lake when water levels rise.  The fear is the fish will leap out of the river and up over the top of the dam. One option is a physical barrier.  "Put a physical barrier on the dam itself to prevent fish from jumping over the dam," Alexander stated.  "They would literally hit the barrier and bounce back into the river."

In the meantime, fish will continue to die in the river thanks to Mother Nature.  They have been dying because of low water levels.  "It's getting warmer.  The oxygen is depleting.  In other words, the fish are dying of natural causes," Alexander said. 

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