Indiana Joins Michigan, Minnesota to Sue Illinois Over Carp

Locks may be closed if lawsuit succeeds

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    River traffic passes through a section of water containing an electric fish barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009 in Romeoville, Ill. A toxic chemical is to be dumped Wednesday on a nearly 6-mile stretch of the canal as part of state and federal efforts to keep the voracious and invasive Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes. The fish toxin rotenone will be spread Wednesday evening near adjacent Lockport, Ill. Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Stacey Solano said. After about eight hours, sometime Thursday morning, the carcasses of about 200,000 pounds of dead fish will surface in the canal, she said. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

    Illinois’ neighboring states are ganging up to stop the dreaded Asian carp for entering Lake Michigan.

    Indiana joins with Michigan and Minnesota in a lawsuit aimed forcing Illinois and the Army Corps of Engineers to shut down a set of Chicago locks that connect to the Great Lakes, according to the Northwest Indiana Times.

    Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said he would file a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a lawsuit filed by Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox.

    "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago have failed to halt the invasion of the Asian carp that threatens the freshwater ecosystem supporting one of the greatest fishing bodies of water on earth; and so legal action is unfortunately necessary," Zoeller told the Northwest Indiana Times.

    Last month, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District spokeswoman Jill Horist called the lawsuit "unfortunate," and said it won't bring a solution any sooner.
          
    "It's unfortunate that there would be an assumption that this would make some positive resolution come sooner than is truly feasible," Horist said. "Even if the locks were closed there's still a variety of ways for DNA or Asian carp to enter Lake Michigan."

    A spokeswoman says Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office is reviewing the lawsuit and has no comment for now.
    Bighead and silver carp from Asia have been migrating northward in the Mississippi and Illinois rivers for decades. They have been detected in canals and rivers south of Chicago that open into Lake Michigan.

    Officials poisoned a section of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in early December  to prevent the carp from getting closer to Lake Michigan while an electrical barrier was taken down for maintenance.