GLMRIS: Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study
November 9, 2012

Focus Area 2 Indiana Assessment Reports Released

PDF Focus Area 2 Aquatic Pathway Assessment Report: Eagle Marsh, Indiana – Wabash-Maumee Basin Connection (4.9 MB)
PDF Focus Area 2 Aquatic Pathway Assessment Report: Loomis Lake, Indiana (3.3 MB)
PDF Focus Area 2 Aquatic Pathway Assessment Report: Parker-Cobb Ditch, Indiana (4.1 MB)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) today released for public comment three draft Aquatic Pathway Assessment Reports for the State of Indiana: Eagle Marsh, Loomis Lake and Parker-Cobb Ditch. The purpose of each report is to evaluate key evidence to estimate the likelihood of an aquatic pathway forming and the possibility of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) using it to reach the adjacent basin, as part of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS).

The draft reports show that Eagle Marsh, (Allen County) Parker-Cobb Ditch and Loomis Lake (both Porter county) have a high, medium and low probability for movement of ANS, respectively.

In 2010, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources built a temporary barrier to prevent adult Asian carp transfer at Eagle Marsh. However, the Eagle Marsh assessment report found that Eagle Marsh remains a high risk potential pathway due to the probability that Viral Hemoragic Scepticemia (VHS) could spread across the basin divide.

A viable aquatic pathway exists at Parker-Cobb Ditch for the potential transfer of northern snakehead into the Great Lakes Basin and for the potential transfer of threespine stickleback, parasitic copepod and VHS into the Mississippi River Basin. The overall aquatic pathway viability rating for Parker-Cobb Ditch was determined to be medium, however, as there was limited opportunity for the ANS of Concern to reach the pathway location and then transfer into the adjacent basin within the next 20-50 years.

The overall viability of the Loomis Lake aquatic pathway was determined to be low, as no species were found capable of reaching the site solely through the aquatic pathway.

Comments for the three draft Indiana reports will be accepted through Dec. 7, 2012. Comments may be submitted electronically on the FA2 Documents page or mailed to GLMRIS Focus Area 2, Summary Report Comments, 1776 Niagara Street, Buffalo, NY 14207-3199.

USACE will host a stakeholder conference call Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 at 10 a.m. (Central) to answer questions regarding the Indiana reports. Call-in information is:

USA Toll-Free: 877-336-1839
USA Caller Paid/International Toll: 636-651-0008
Access Code: 8506361
Security Code: 0000

An ANS Controls Report identifying the range of options and technologies that may be available to prevent the inter-basin transfer of ANS during flooding events at the Wabash – Maumee basins connection at Eagle Marsh near Fort Wayne, Indiana will be released and open for a 60-day comment period on November 16.

Additional reports focusing on potential pathways in Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania will be released over the next few months, as they are completed. Reports include: study methodology; aquatic pathway characterization; aquatic pathway viability for ANS of Concern; overall aquatic pathway viability and some potential opportunities that, if implemented, could prevent or reduce the probability of ANS transferring between the basins.

USACE will review and incorporate public input before finalizing and re-issuing the reports in winter 2012.

If you have any questions about this document, please contact the GLMRIS Focus Area 2 Team at 716-879-4260 or [email protected].