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US Supreme Court to reconsider closing lock in Illinois to combat Asian Carp

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox has been pushing once more to ask the US Supreme Court to take up the issue of temporarily closing locks in Illinois canals to prevent the influx of Asian Carp into the Great Lakes. And on Friday the Supreme Court will revisit the issue.

When the court first looked at the issue in January they declined to take it on with no comments. But with the discovery of invasive carp DNA found in Lake Michigan harbors there has been more urgency and pressure from many Great Lakes states. The Supreme Court is expected to look at the issue again on Friday and will likely announce their decision about taking the case on Monday.

Michigan has filed the suit against the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, the State of Illinois and the Chicago Water Reclamation District to force the temporary closing of two locks in the Sanitary and Shipping Canal. Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania are also named in the suit.

Current plans to combat the invasive fish have been criticized by many as not being aggressive enough and many are concerned that the faster a decision is made the more likely we will be to stop the fish.

The concern with Asian carp is that they are large fish with no predators that eat at the bottom of the food chain. This means that they out-compete young native fish for food and space. In some areas of the Illinois River they account for 80% of the biomass, this includes plants and animals.

There is no denying that the Asian carp is a problem that must be dealt with, and the Supreme Court taking a second look it seems likely that this is an issue we will be hearing about for a long time.





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