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Asian Carp Lawsuit Hearing Underway

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Sep 8, 2010 2:40PM

Asian carp at Shedd Aquarium by Kate Gardiner.
While the city came to a standstill over a certain mayoral announcement yesterday, the wheels of justice kept (slowly) turning in the ongoing Asian Carp saga. Yesterday was the first day of testimony in the lawsuit against the state of Illinois to stop the spread of the destructive species. The states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota and Pennsylvania are plaintiffs in the suit which calls for the closing of two locks in local waterways to prevent the spread of fish into Lake Michigan.

Biologist, invasive species expert, and Notre Dame prof David Lodge testified of "a very imminent risk of invasion" and that such an invasion would be "irreversible." Testimony and cross-examination focused largely on the carp DNA found beyond barriers designed to stop carp and what other explanations there may be for the DNA to be found there. Testimony could continue through the end of the week in U.S. District Court here in Chicago. There's also a second lawsuit that asks to permanently disconnect the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River - which seems to us like meddling a little too much with nature - that is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.