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Ohio Attorney General, Richard Cordray working to prevent Asian carp entry into Lake Erie

Lake Calumet, Ill.  A fisheries biologist with the IL Dept of Natural Resources holds an Asian carp.
Lake Calumet, Ill. A fisheries biologist with the IL Dept of Natural Resources holds an Asian carp.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray is taking urgent action to protect the Lake Erie basin from an Asian Carp invasion. 

In case you haven't heard, this fish species can get to 100 pounds and can literally jump into boats. The possibility of Asian carp becoming an invasive threat to Great Lakes waters may be closer than previously thought.  Spawning populations have been recorded in Calumet Lake in Illinois, which flows into Lake Michigan near Chicago, and Michigan's Wabash River, which can flood into Ohio's Maumee River.

Two months ago, Cordray,  along with attorneys general from Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit in Northern Illinois Federal District Court against the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago

The suit questions administrative procedures and processes of the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) that is operated and controlled by the two agencies and suggests permanent physical barriers between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River basins.

Initial arguments were heard last week before Federal District Court Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr. This week, expert testimony is being heard from Notre Dame University professor, Dr. David Lodge and Dr. Tammy Newcomb, State Administrative Manager with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment Fisheries Research Program, as well as from the defendants. 

The judicial decision will determine whether and how federal involvement and funding can be requested for protecting the Great Lakes from Asian carp migration.

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