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Grass carp, one of four Asian species now in American waters.
Grass carp, one of four Asian species now in American waters.

Asian carp closer to Great Lakes?

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Two New York lawmakers are demanding that U.S. officials shut two Chicago shipping locks to prevent an invasive fish from getting into the Great Lakes. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter said Friday they are concerned about the recent discovery of a 20-pound Asian carp in Chicago's Lake Calumet, six miles from Lake Michigan. David Sommerstein has more.

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The find raised fears that the species has breached defenses intended to keep it from spreading beyond the Mississippi River System where it has already inflicted great ecological damage and into the Great Lakes. John Rogner with Illinois's Department of Natural Resources says that Lake Calumet seems to be ideal habitat for the Asian carp.

"These fish prefer quiet waters in large river systems. You'll find them in the back waters and side channels, and Lake Calumet really fits that to a t. What we're trying to determine now is might that fish represent an individual fish on the lake or might it be part of a larger population," Rogner said.

Gillibrand and Slaughter want to temporarily shut locks to prevent the fish from getting into Lake Michigan. Industry groups say the waterways need to stay open for vital shipping traffic.

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