New York Enters Carp Fight

Illinois Attorney General is reviewing the suit

By Andrew Greiner
|  Monday, Jan 4, 2010  |  Updated 7:00 AM CDT
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Killer Carp In Hiding

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The invasive Asian carp can grow up to 100 pounds and more than 4 feet long.

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Fuggedabout them fishes. 

New York's attorney general has said he'll join Michigan's legal fight to keep Asian carp from making their way into the Great Lakes.

Andrew Cuomo says he'll file a brief in U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to support Michigan's request to sever a century-old Chicago canal that connects Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River water basin.

Many of Illinois' neighbors, including Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ohio have signaled support for the suit. Last week 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.

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.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago has said that closing the canal would not prevent the carp from migrating.
 

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