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Environment & Climate Change
Asian carp have been making their way up the Mississippi River system for years after escaping from fish farms and wastewater treatment ponds in the southern U.S.They’re knocking on the door of the Great Lakes, and a number of people are concerned about what could happen if carp become established in the region.In this five-part series, we’ll take a look at what officials are trying to do to keep the fish out, what might happen if carp get in, and why some people want to turn carp into a business opportunity.

Illinois officials downplay postive test for Asian Carp DNA near Lake Michigan

Bighead Carp Lake Calumet June 2010.jpg
Illinois DNR
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Illinois officials are downplaying the recent discovery of Asian Carp DNA in a waterway a short distance from Lake Michigan.

Asian Carp are an invasive species that experts fear could devastate fish native to the Great Lakes.

The Army Corps of Engineers routinely tests Illinois waterways for signs of the carp. One carp was caught a few years ago, just a few miles from Lake Michigan.

Chris McCloud is a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. He says a rapid response team spent two days searching the waterways for any signs of carp.

“Two contracted commercial fishermen deployed about 5.5 miles of gill nets throughout the area,” says McCloud.  “There were a lot of fish picked up, but no Asian carp.  No bighead or silver carp that we were looking for.”

McCloud says a second round of DNA testing is underway. He notes that past positive DNA tests have not led to the discovery of live Asian carp in the Chicago area.

Three electric barriers separate Chicago area waterways from carp-infested rivers and streams to the south.

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