Asian carp DNA has been found above a key barrier on the Mississippi River in Minnesota. The good news is that no live fish have been found.
But if the exotic species are above Coon Rapids Dam, they could move into the Crow and Rum River systems and possibly even into Mille Lacs Lake.
“We believe that the risk is just too high to not assume that there are live fish upstream,” said Tim Schlagenhaft, Mississippi River manager for the Department of Natural Resources. “Consequently, we need to move forward.”
And in related news:
A federal report showing that cargo traffic on Chicago-area waterways has been flat or declining for 15 years was quickly embraced by those who support closing locks or installing barriers to keep invasive species like the Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.
Michigan officials, who have joined other states in a lawsuit to have some Chicago-area locks closed, pointed to the findings as evidence that the Great Lakes shipping industry would not be dramatically affected if barriers were erected.
"Those findings are in agreement with the study that we commissioned two years ago that found that canal traffic was not only declining but was a far less than significant portion of the Chicago economy," said John Sellek, a spokesman for the Michigan attorney general's office.