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Members of Congress want faster action to stop Asian carp

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Jason Jenkins-Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee
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flickr creative commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Members of Congress want faster government action to stop Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes through Chicago-area waterways.

US Senator Debbie Stabenow and a bi-partisan group of Great Lakes legislators met Wednesday with representatives of key federal agencies.

"We have to keep the Army Corps of Engineers, who has the primary responsibility now, laser focused on doing everything they can to stop these carp," said Stabenow.

The group is calling for speedier testing and implementation of new technologies to halt the advance of the invasive species at a crucial lock and dam choke point in Illinois. 

The US Army Corps of Engineers said this could take four years, according to Stabenow. She said faster action is needed.

Stabenow said the lawmakers were very disturbed about a recent discovery that the leading edge of the Illinois River's juvenile silver carp population has moved 66 miles closer to Lake Michigan this year and they are now only 77 miles away.  

"What's very concerning as we were hearing through folks involved in Great Lakes research that it would only take 10, 20 full grown fish - males and females - to be able to actually take hold in the Great Lakes," said Stabenow.   

Stabenow said if the carp get into the Great Lakes, "it will wreak havoc with our fishing industry, our boating industry."