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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.

Agencies begin new search for Asian carp near Lake Michigan

Asian carp leaping out of a river.
Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Asian carp leaping out of a river.

Crews will begin an intensive search for Asian carp in the Chicago area tomorrow after finding more DNA evidence of the fish in waterways close to Lake Michigan.  Officials found the genetic material above a system of electric barriers that are intended to keep carp out of Lake Michigan.

Chris McCloud is with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. He says crews will go out this week on the North Shore Channel and an area of the Chicago River and look for carp.

"We are very confident that if there are Asian carp present in the Chicago Area Waterway System, that they are in very, very low numbers."

McCloud says if they do catch a carp, the search efforts will ramp up even more.  The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee is in charge of response plans for Asian carp.  The search this week is considered a Level 1 response in the ACRCC's 2012 Monitoring and Rapid Response Plan.  It was triggered after three consecutive rounds of positive eDNA results in one area.

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