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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.

The search resumes Tuesday for possible Asian Carp in Illinois lake close to Lake Michigan

Illinois DNR
Bighead Asian carp caught in 2010

Anintensive four day searchfor the invasive Asian Carp gets underway near Chicago tomorrow. The search area is a short swim from Lake Michigan.

This is the second time this year a sweep of Lake Calumet has been staged following the discovery of Asian Carp DNA in the waterway. The earlier search turned up no carp. The result’s been the same in previous searches during the past few years.

Charlie Wooley is with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He says scientists are still trying to understand the results their tests are getting.

“The whole idea of what is actually happening with those positive eDNA hits is still something of a mystery to the scientists working on this issue,” says Wooley. 

Preliminary results from the search may be ready in time for a summit meeting on Asian Carp in Chicago this week.

Several states want to close off the Great Lakes to waterways infested with the invasive fish that destroys native fish habitats.

The Obama administration and the state of Illinois oppose closing the canal systems. Closing the canal’s link to the Great Lakes is also opposed by numerous business interests that rely upon having the access.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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