Army Corps of Engineers identifies non-native species

Staff Report

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released an Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) White Paper July 27, the first interim product of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS). Its purpose is to inventory potential non-native species within the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins and identify which high-risk species will be an initial focus in GLMRIS.

The classification of high-risk species will aid the GLMRIS team in focusing efforts toward identifying applicable prevention and control technologies for analysis.

The Army Corps of Engineers identified 40 high-risk species from an initial list of 253 potential ANS invaders. These include well-known invaders such as species of Asian carp, the alewife and the tubenose goby, along with other fish, amphipods, copepods, algae, crustaceans, mollusks and plants.

The White Paper includes fact sheets for each of the species that contain photographs and information about potential impacts associated with the animal or plant.

“Identification of the species in the ANS White Paper will aid the GLMRIS Team in focusing efforts toward identifying applicable control technologies and preventing the transfer of non-native species via aquatic pathways,” said Gary O’Keefe, GLMRIS program manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

GLMRIS is a feasibility study to determine the most effective means of preventing the spread of aquatic nuisance species between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basins. The study will provide a thorough identification of potential hydrologic connections between the two basins, identify and explore specific aquatic nuisance species of concern, and analyze various aquatic nuisance species control technologies.

The study is being conducted in two parts, referred to as “focus areas.” Focus Area I consists of the Chicago Area Waterway System, a network of rivers and channels that provides the primary connection between the two basins. Focus Area II includes all aquatic pathways outside that system that exist — or are likely to form during certain flood events — spanning the nearly 1,500-mile long divide separating the basins.

For additional information regarding the ANS White Paper or the study in general, contact the Chicago District Public Affairs Office at (312) 846-5330 or The ANS White Paper can be viewed at

From the Aug. 3-9, 2011, issue

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