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Man Made Canals

There was once a time when navigating Canada’s waters involved portaging (carrying a boat) between lakes and around boating barriers. To make navigation easier, man-made canals, locks, and water diversions were constructed to connect lakes and rivers. This made navigation by water much easier, and allowed for much larger boats to travel. Unfortunately, the connection of these waterbodies also allowed for invasive species like the sea lamprey to travel to new lakes. Although Sea Lamprey populations are currently controlled, new threats still exist today as a result of connecting lakes and rivers with canals.

Asian carp have invaded much of the Mississippi watershed, which was previously disconnected from the Great Lakes watershed. A man-made canal in Chicago creates the primary connection between the two watersheds and serves as the highest area of risk for Asian carp invasion into the Great Lakes.