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One Fish, Two Fish: Feds to Spend $75 Mil on Asian Carp Problem

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By Tanya Roth, Esq. on February 10, 2010 12:45 PM

If you have been following the river of lawsuits that is the Asian Carp controversy, there is recent news that may be of interest. Currently out of the hands of the courts after the last Supreme Court decision which declined to close the locks linking Chicago and the Great Lakes, the federal government has decided to implement a $75.8 million attempt to control the slippery interlopers.

According to MSNBC, the government is devising a 25 point plan to prevent the fish from reaching the lakes and destroying their ecosystem as well as the $7 billion fishing industry. One part of this plan includes opening the locks less frequently, although it does not include the total closure sought by Michigan State Attorney General Mike Cox.

MSNBC reports the Obama Administration is considering four different options regarding the navigation structures leading to the Great Lakes, including opening two primary locks for just three or four days a week, or closing the locks one week per month, or every other week. Another option is continuing to operate them normally. When the locks are opened, poisons would be spread in the waters to kill any Asian carp skulking around the immediate vicinity.

Additional plans include the expenditure of millions of dollars on additional barriers to prevent the persistent fish from reaching Lake Michigan. Another $9.5 million will be spent on promoting commercial fishing of carp as well as developing poisons to kill the carp, but not other fish. But that option just sounds a bit... fishy.

MSNBC writes that Michigan's Cox has caustic words for President Obama, whom he believes is using the federal government to protect the interests of Chicago above those in the rest of the Great Lakes region. Referring to the President, Cox said, "[he] proved today that he'll do anything to protect the narrow interests of his home state of Illinois, even if it means destroying Michigan's economy." Cox is a Republican who will be running for governor of Michigan in the next election.

Although the DNA of the bighead and silver carp has been found in Lake Michigan, the actual fish have not. The group gathered to battle in this fish fight include, Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Coast Guard. Fish on!

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