GLMRIS: Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study

GLMRIS – Brandon Road

Map showing GLMRIS - Brandon Road Study Area
Download PDF Map 3.4 MB

The GLMRIS Report, released in January 2014, describes alternatives to prevent aquatic interbasin transfer of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds. Based on an agency assessment informed by public input following release of the GLMRIS Report, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) concluded that a formal evaluation of potential control options and technologies near Brandon Road Lock and Dam to prevent the movement of ANS from the Mississippi River Basin to the Great Lakes Basin was an appropriate next step.

The Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study – Brandon Road Draft Integrated Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement – Will County, IL (Draft GLMRIS-BR Report) evaluates options and technologies near the Brandon Road Lock and Dam site in Will County, Illinois near Joliet, to prevent the upstream transfer of ANS from the Mississippi River Basin into the Great Lakes Basin, while minimizing impacts to existing waterway uses and users.

Tentatively Selected Plan

Six alternatives were formulated and evaluated. Each alternative is described in detail in the draft report documents. The tentatively selected plan is the alternative that reduces the risk of Mississippi River Basin ANS establishment in the Great Lakes Basin to the maximum extent possible while minimizing impacts to waterway uses and users.

Based on the results of the evaluation and comparison of the alternatives, the tentatively selected plan is the Technology Alternative – Complex Noise with Electric Barrier, which includes the following measures: nonstructural measures, complex noise, water jets, engineered channel, electric barrier, flushing lock, boat launches and mooring area. The goal will be to optimize alternative effectiveness while minimizing safety impacts.

The map below shows locations of key features, or measures, of the tentatively selected plan at Brandon Road Lock and Dam. Descriptions of nonstructural and structural control measures included in the tentatively selected plan follow.

Measures Included in the Tentatively Selected Plan

Map showing locations of key features, or measures, of the tentatively selected plan at Brandon Road Lock and Dam.
Map showing locations of key features, or measures, of the tentatively selected plan at
Brandon Road Lock and Dam. [Source: USACE]

Nonstructural Control Measures

Nonstructural controls do not require the construction of a permanent feature in the waterway, while structural measures do.

Education and Outreach

Educating the public on ways to avoid spreading all life stages of ANS from one waterbody to another.

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management is a series of pest management evaluations, decisions, and controls. The overall strategy is to use an Integrated Pest Management approach by combining the tools, knowledge, monitoring data, and information available to detect, aggregate, remove, control, and exclude ANS.

Manual or Mechanical Removal

For adult life stages, controlled harvest and overfishing remove ANS fish species from the waterway to reduce abundance. Current methods are ineffective for A. lacustre (hitchhiker) and for harvesting the eggs, juvenile and larval life stages of Bighead Carp (H. nobilis) and Silver Carp (H. molitrix).

Nonstructural Monitoring

Nonstructural monitoring uses various tools to identify the location and abundance of ANS. Monitoring includes but is not limited to electrofishing, netting and telemetry.

Piscicides

Application of a registered piscicide to eradicate ANS fish species, but generally not effective against fish eggs. In the state of Illinois, piscicides can only be received, possessed, and applied by a State of Illinois, Division of Fisheries Biologist.

Research and development

Investigations into ways to improve the effectiveness and development of additional tools and methods to prevent ANS from entering the Great Lakes Basin.

Structural Control Measures

Structural controls require the construction of a permanent feature in the waterway. Structural measures include:

Complex Noise

Complex noise is underwater sound generated to deter ANS fish species from entering the Brandon Road Lock approach channel. However, this measure would not control the passage of floating ANS or ANS that are known to be hitchhikers.

Electric Dispersal Barrier

An electric dispersal barrier creates an electric field that repels and stuns fish and would be placed at the downstream extent of the engineered channel.

Engineered Channel

An engineered channel is a concrete structure installed within the downstream approach channel to Brandon Road Lock. The engineered channel serves to increase the effectiveness of some ANS controls, reduce control impacts and serves as a platform to add new technologies in the future, if deemed appropriate.

Flushing Lock

The flushing lock would be designed to exchange water from the upper pool prior to a lockage; thereby removing floating Mississippi River Basin ANS from the lock. The flushing lock would not control the passage of swimming or hitchhiking species.

Water Jets

Water jets, installed along the bottom of the engineered channel, are designed to remove small and stunned fish that may become entrained in recesses of barges.

Supporting Measures

These measures do not control ANS movement but support other measures in the tentatively selected plan.

Boat Launches

Boat launches would be sited upstream and downstream of Brandon Road Lock and Dam to address limited boat access for safety and ANS-related activities.

Mooring Area

This supporting measure is included in alternatives with an electric dispersal barrier in case vessels need to reconfigure prior to locking through Brandon Road Lock.

Comments

USACE is accepting comments on the Draft GLMRIS-BR Report through public meetings, the GLMRIS website, mail, and hand-delivery. Comments will be accepted through September 21, 2017.

Mailed and hand delivered comments can be sent to:

US Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District
231 S. LaSalle St. Suite 1500
ATTN: GLMRIS – Brandon Road Comments
Chicago, IL 60604

Submit comments on the Draft GLMRIS-BR Report online.

Public Meetings

Dates and locations of public meetings are to be announced. Dates and locations will be posted on the Public Meetings page when they are available.

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