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Asian Carp AWOL?

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Mar 30, 2010 4:30PM

After all the worryiing about the Asian Carp's imminent spread into the Great Lakes, a recent search for the fish has turned up...nothing. The six-week search turned up over 1,000 common carp and a few other variations, but none of the dreaded silver or bighead carp that would threaten to wreak havoc on the ecosystem of the Great Lakes. According to the AP (via WFLD):

Beginning in mid-February, teams of biologists and commercial fishermen combed a network of Chicago-area rivers and canals where Asian carp DNA has been detected in numerous spots over the past year. They spread netting across large areas and used electric stunning prods where they believed the carp were most likely to gather, said Chris McCloud, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

To McCloud, this result proves the effectiveness of electric barriers put up to prevent the spread of the fish. But the State of Michigan doesn't buy it. John Sellek, a spokesman for Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, said "What did they expect? (Illinois') own court filings say they are not likely to catch Asian carp using nets or electro-fishing." While the SCOTUS has twice rejected Michigan's request for an injunction to shut down a pair of shipping locks in Chicago-area waterways to prevent the spread of the fish, the high court is still considering Michigan's request to reopen a 1922 lawsuit over the creation of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, linking the Mississippi River with the Great Lakes and thereby opening a path for the Asian Carp to make their way to the Lakes. Michigan has been joined by the other Great Lakes states - Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York - as well as the Canadian province of Ontario in this fight.