Local

Asian carp fight heads to court

Monday, December 07, 2009
Asian Carp (file)

A bighead carp, a species of the Asian carp, swims in a new exhibit that highlights plants and animals that eat or compete with Great Lakes native species Thursday, Jan. 5, 2006, at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

As Michigan's AG fights to keep the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal closed to stop the spread of Asian carp, fishermen are pulling up the last of their nets at Cal Sag.

The invasive fish could devastate native species in the Great Lakes if they breach the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. Last week, environmental officials found one Asian carp carcass in the canal after poisoning the six-mile stretch of water.

The Michigan attorney general is planning to go to court to try to force the closures of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. However, that would shut off a busy shippiong route to the Mississippi River, disrupting the movement of millions of tons of iron ore, coal and other goods.

While the battle over closing that canal brews, fishermen in Chicago's Calumet Sag Channel near the O'Brien Lock are using 2,000 yards of net to search for Asian carp in that 5.5-mile stretch of water.

They began looking for the fish - which can grow up to 100 pounds and four feet- on Saturday. The last of the nets should be pulled by Monday afternoon.

Those involved in the netting are from both federal and commercial fisheries. Officials do not plan to poison fish in the Cal-Sag channel because the carcasses wouldn't surface in cold waters.

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