ROMEOVILLE, Ill., Dec. 2 (UPI) — Illinois officials said Wednesday they were conducting a massive fish kill in a shipping canal to prevent Asian carp from reaching Lake Michigan.
Officials from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said they were dumping gallons of the toxin rotenone into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal near Romeoville, Ill., in a last-ditch effort to keep the invasive carp from spreading to the Great Lakes, The Chicago Tribune reported.
The newspaper said wildlife officials resorted to the fish kill after the Army Corps of Engineers in April fired up the second of two underwater electric barriers in the narrow canal, hoping to keep the voracious species from swimming up the Mississippi River, through the canal and into the Great Lakes, were it is feared they will devastate the lakes’ $7 billion fishing industry.
“If the carp move into Lake Michigan and end up competing for food with all the sport fishes we like, it would devastate the salmon and trout populations,” Steve Shults of the Illinois DNR told the Tribune.
Meanwhile, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm asked state Attorney General Mike Cox Wednesday to seek legal authority to force the closure of the Chicago ship canal, the Detroit Free Press reported.
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