Asian carp caught near Lake Michigan: 'Carp wars' just got hotter
An Asian carp caught in Lake Calumet this week is the first such live fish to be found in such close proximity to Lake Michigan. Worries mount that the species will invade, and ruin, the Great Lakes.
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Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox said the discovery this week confirmed “our worst fears.” Previously, Asian carp DNA had been found in the vicinity of Lake Michigan, but this is the first live fish to be found in such close proximity.Skip to next paragraph
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“Responsibility for this potential economic and ecological disaster rests solely with President Obama. He must take action immediately by ordering the locks closed and producing an emergency plan to stop Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan,” Mr. Cox said in a statement. He announced that his office is working on another legal action to try to close the locks.
Discovery of the fish also alarmed environmental groups.
“Asian carp are like cockroaches: When you see one, you know it's accompanied by many more you don't see,” says Henry Henderson, director of the Midwest chapter of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Now we can stop arguing about whether the fish are in Chicago’s canals and start moving as quickly as possible toward permanently separating the Great Lakes [from the Mississippi River]. We just cannot wait five to seven years for the Army Corps of Engineers to complete its own studies before deciding to solve this problem.”
The Asian carp pulled from Lake Calumet, east of the O'Brien Lock, stretched 34 inches and weighed more than 19 pounds. Biologists from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are unsure how the fish made it that far, and past the electric barrier, and are planning to use genetic testing to determine its origin.
For the time being, however, the US Army Corps of Engineers, which controls the locks, says it does not plan to shut them.
“We see no reason … to take any step toward lock closure,” said agency spokesman Mike White.
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