Chicago Sun-Times
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Asian carp in Lincoln Park lagoon

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Asian carp were found in the Lincoln Park lagoon being renovated at the zoo. That's the lagoon on Chicago's North Side lakefront, which was treated with rotenone in November.


Paul Bleers sent this photo, one of six from Bill Pohl. The skateboard was put in for perspective. Pohl guessed the weight around 20 pounds.

Mike Conlin , wildlife head for the IDNR, couldn't tell for certain what the fish was, but confirmed Asian carp had been found during the renovation project. He did not think the finds were cause for concern.

Let's set up with the e-mail from Bleers.

``I wanted to reach out to you today about an unusual find my buddy Bill Pohl had yesterday....while biking around the south Lincoln Park zoo pond (the one currently being renovatated), he spied something of a notable size laying on the shoreline........a beast of a that we're having troubling identifing......Bill said that in trying to move it, it was at least 20lbs, if not more. The skateboard and beer bottle were put in the pics for perspective.........we think it may be a silver carp. What do you think?''

I've learned enough to ask people who know better than me.

Here's Conlin's answer on Friday.

``I can't really tell from the photos as the fish is long since dead (rotenone applied in early November). From the size estimated by Paul Bleers, it could be the remains of either a bighead carp or a silver carp. Several weeks after the rotenone application, Park District sent us several photos of what were either Bighead or Silver carp.....could not tell from the photos.

These fish were estimated to be about 25 lbs. which would jive with Paul's estimate of the size of the old fish remains he saw on the bank. Source is unknown. Could have been a
"cultural" release, or they might have hitched a ride with a channel catfish stocking from a southern producer years ago.

Lincoln Park South Lagoon is connected to Diversey Harbor via a12" or so discharge tube (which is screened). Lake Michigan has been low for several years so the discharge tube is about 1.5 to 2 feet above the level of Lake Michigan (at least that was the case in November 2008). No need for concern here in my view.''

Actually that sounds reasonable, considering three bigheads were confirmed over the years at the Mckinley Park lagoon.

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Mike Conlin double-checked with one of the biologists at Havana and agreed with everybody else that the photos taken by Carlos De la Pena Jr. at the McKinley Park lagoon on Tuesday were dead bighead carp.. De la Pena took... Read More


For what it is worth, I'm pretty sure that is a bighead carp, and not a silver carp. The mouth is too large for it to be a silver. It is in the realm of possibility for it to be a hybrid between the two, but that is not likely, and I am nearly 100% certain that it is not a silver carp. I am a well-known and published expert on these fish. Aside from providing a more positive ID on the fish, I wish to support all of Director Conlin's statements as listed in your article.

What I would like to know is what is a clutural release? How did they get in McKinley Park, and how did the Goby get in the Park Lagoons?

Hello Mr. Bowman, I just wanted to give you a heads up. I was out at McKinley Park today and I notice about 4 Asian Bighead carp dead along the shore line.

If you took photos, please send them to

I also sent video of the Aramark employee pulling the fish out the water. His name is ALI. Thank you once again Mr. Bowman!

the fish was pulled from the water. hopefully to be studied. since then maybe because of winter snow run off the lagoon is filled again. asian carp can be the biggest disaster to our great lakes. lamprey, gobies and zebra mussels have nothing on these things. It will take a 30 pound carp slap a jet skier in the face to get people to notice. these things jump out of the water when they feel threatened.
I live 3 blocks from the south pond and will take more pics as it's drained. This could be a biological nightmare.
Oh and by the way fish spawn can swim right out the gate that leads to diversey harbor.
THAT IS NOT GOOD! (lake water is up)
I'll try to keep people posted.

I can help with the control of Asian Carp. The state harvest and process the fish. I provide storage and transportation to Africa. Lots of starving people in Africa will be happy. It saves Illinois millions of dollars building damns. I can be reached at 763-843-5550. Pass the word. Thanks. Tony Nagberi- Minnesota

According to World Health organization 30 45 million people in Africa depend on fish for their livelihood. Fish is an indispensible source of micronutrients such as Iron, Iodine, calcium, Zinc, Vitamin A and Vitamin B African countries need. Asian carp may be the solution. Asian carp may be a blessing to 3rd world countries.

Asian Carp Fish, Inc a Minnesota based company can help with the control of Asian Carp. The state provides the funds to commercially harvest and process the fish. We provide storage and transportation to Africa and 3rd world countries. Lots of starving people in Africa and 3rd world countries will be too happy to eat the fish. Create employment and economic growth. Our contact information

Tony Nagberi- Minnesota

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on February 14, 2009 8:57 PM.

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