Quinn Stumps for Fish Dish - NBC Chicago
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Quinn Stumps for Fish Dish



    "If you can't beat 'em, you eat 'em."

    That's Gov. Pat Quinn, repeating a now-common Illinois adage about controlling Asian carp in Lake Michigan.  Illinois is entering an agreement with a Chinese meat processing company.  The Chinese consider the carp a delicacy. 

    "I think it's a win, win, win," said Quinn. 

    He said by "harvesting the carp in a positive way... carp won't be at the doors of Lake Michigan."  The fishermen are paid $.10 to $.15 per pound.

    What do the Chinese know that Americans don't? 

    "It has too many bones," for Americans' taste, said Rick Smith of Big River Fish Corporation.

    As for shipping off the carp, U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, whose district has a high concentration of the fish, said "it's the cheapest way and makes sense."

    "We have men and women out of work ready to go," she said.

    Experts say it will take about five years to get the carp population under control.

    Quinn on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding to invest $2 million in capital funds to get this program rolling. The program will add up to 61 new jobs and 120 indirect jobs, his office said.