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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

 8:40 AM 

Lawmakers raise concerns about Wisconsin River fish passage

Four members of the Wisconsin congressional delegation have sent a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service raising concerns a required fish passage at the Prairie du Sac Hydroelectric Dam could allow Asian Carp to move upstream.

Wisconsin Power and Light, which owns the dam, is required to install a fishway and have it operational by July 1, 2015 to allow safe passage for native fish.

But U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, and Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh -- along with U.S. Reps. Tom Petri, R-Fond du Lac, and Mark Pocan, D-Madison -- raised concerns that invasive species such as Asian carp and the disease viral hemorrhagic septicemia would also use the passage to move upstream.

The dam is on the Wisconsin River 90 miles upstream from its intersection with the Mississippi River. The letter notes Asian carp have been caught below the dam each of the past three years, but aren’t known to exist upstream of the facility.

“Opening a pathway for invasive species that are present below PDS to move upstream would cause significant adverse effects on the environment and surrounding watersheds,” the lawmakers wrote.


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