A sizeable flock of sandhill cranes wheeled overhead as I pulled off the 9th Street bridge in Lockport around noon today. That was about the only natural and true thing that happened at the beginning of the fish kill, sanctioned by local, state, federal and international groups, on a nearly six-mile stretch of Sanitary and Ship Canal.
I just loved this sign. There are two of them by the Des Plaines River on my walk back to the press tent for the briefing about the fish kill being planned so the electric fish barrier near Romeoville could have work done on it.
The barrier was built badly and late to prevent the spread of Asian carp to the Great Lakes.
Maybe you had to have knocked around the story for years to truly appreciate those signs about the flooding on the Des Plaines.
Wednesday's operation felt like a military campaign, all the way down to the 47 CPOs involved, which if my calculations are correct is about 2 out of every 5 CPOs we have in the whole of Illinois.
This is just snapshots. The actual application of rotenone, a fish toxitant, is set to begin in a few minutes, then the dead carcasses of fish picked up through the weekend.
I will have more complete thoughts later.
There was a whole lot of stuff, something newsworthy, some flat out BS, at the news conference, but one fact of note came out. Commercial fishermen around the O'Brien Lock did not find any Asian carp today, according to the IDNR's lead on this, John Rogner.
I got there early and joined several faithful readers on the 135th Street bridge as witnesses to some of the early work corraling other fish. From the biologists I spoke with, not many were found.
It was almost surreal to see all the vessels in the water or on trailers, knowing what they about to do.
There is much more to come on this.