Wisconsin AG wants more info on Asian carp threat

AP News
Posted: Dec 16, 2009 3:13 PM

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said Wednesday he wants to know more about the threat Asian carp pose to the Great Lakes.

The carp have been migrating northward in the Mississippi and Illinois rivers for decades. Scientists say if they get into the Great Lakes, they could consume plankton, interrupt the food chain and devastate the $7 billion fishery.

Federal and state officials poisoned a section of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal this month to prevent the carp from getting closer to Lake Michigan while an electrical barrier was taken down for maintenance.

Van Hollen issued a statement saying he has directed the state Justice Department to find out whether officials have an adequate plan to stop the fish.

He wants data from Wisconsin officials as well as Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox. That state is preparing a lawsuit demanding at least temporary closure of canal shipping locks.

Van Hollen said he is "determined to take appropriate action" to protect Lake Michigan. He did not elaborate.

The state Assembly passed a resolution Wednesday urging and authorizing Van Hollen to pursue every legal means available to prevent the carp from reaching the Great Lakes.