Heavy rains raised the water levels of the northwest Iowa Great Lakes and led to concerns about bank erosion. DNR fisheries biologist Mike Hawkins says the high water also an issue with a device designed to protect the lakes from invaders.

“We’ve got an Asian carp electric fish barrier that protects the Iowa Great Lakes from large influxes of Asian carp from just what we are experiencing now — which is high water,” Hawkins says. Hawkins had to tweak the electric fence at Lower Gar Lake as the water got higher this week.

He says they adjusted the settings to be sure the electric field was strong enough to prevent the carp from moving upstream and into the lake. Hawkins says they will keep an eye on the barrier.

“Everything seems to be working much better and hopefully we are getting good protection. But we will be monitoring that as well,” Hawkins says. The barrier has been in place for a couple of years to prevent the invasive carp from getting into the lakes.

The fish reproduce rapidly and can come in and quickly overtake the natural species in the lake. They are known for jumping out of the water and have injured boaters.