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Great Lakes Article:

Asian carp discovery fuels fears of infestation
Chicago Tribune
Published November 18th, 2004

WILL COUNTY -- A dead fish scooped from the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal this week alarmed federal and state officials trying to keep Asian carp out of Lake Michigan.

The fish was discovered less than 2 miles south of electrical cables strung across the canal bottom near Romeoville to keep the gluttonous carp from moving into the Great Lakes.

State biologists confirmed Wednesday that it was a silver carp, a species with a ravenous appetite for the same creatures at the base of the food chain for sport fish such as bass and walleye. The carp grow to an average of 4 feet and 60 pounds, and eat up to 40 percent of their body weight every day.

Routine testing in the canal near where the dead fish was found did not turn up any other Asian carp. But the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is planning a more rigorous sweep next week to see whether the discovery is a sign that the carp have moved closer to the lake than previously thought.

Asian carp made their way north to the Illinois River after escaping from fish farms during flooding along the Mississippi River. Scientists fear that if the carp make it to Lake Michigan, they could devastate the $4.5 billion-a-year commercial and sport fishing industry in the Great Lakes.

Federal and state officials are building a new, more powerful electrical barrier in the canal to replace a temporary array of cables that has started to wear out.

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