Massive Asian Carp Found Near Lake Michigan

Nalbone said 80 percent of the fish by weight in the Mississippi basin are Asian carp -- and that's dangerous, not only because of the risk to boaters but also because the carp push out native species. "They harmed the Mississippi waterway and we have every reason to expect they will harm the Great Lakes watershed as well," she said. "It will change the lakes the way Zebra mussels changed the lake."

Zebra mussels are black and white-striped mollusks believed to have caused millions of dollars of damage in the Great Lakes region by getting into facilities that use raw surface water. The mussels clog water intake pipes, wells and screen systems.

200,000 Pounds of Fish

Nalbone says a permanent hydrologic separation is needed between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi basin where the carp live. "We need to re-establish the natural watershed barrier between the Mississippi basin and the Great Lakes. We are working to push federal agencies to take every needed action to prevent the carp from getting into the lake."

An extensive cleanup operation involving hundreds of people from state and federal agencies continued Friday as officials collected and disposed of roughly 200,000 pounds of dead fish. The fish are be taken to an area landfill.

The fish were to be removed by large cranes and barges and then put into dump trucks to be disposed of, Solano said, before clean up began.

Before the fish kill started, The Illinois Department of Resources tried to locate sport fish from the canal so they would not be harmed by the rotenone. The cost of the entire operation could be as much as $2 million.

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