State to poison Asian carp

December 2, 2009 10:39:12 AM PST
The state plans to dump a toxic chemical into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal on Wednesday in its effort to stop the invasive Asian carp.The huge fish- which can reach up to 4-feet and100 pounds- could devastate native species in the Great Lakes if they make it into Lake Michigan. They've been found along the border.

Officials hope poisoning the fish in the 6-mile stretch of the canal will keep the Asian carp from advancing. A fish toxin called Rotenone will be used Wednesday, according to an Illinois Department of Natural Resource spokeswoman. By Thursday, there should be up to 200,000 pounds of fish carcasses. Those will be taken to a landfill.

The poisoning is scheduled at the same time the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to deactivate an electronic barrier on the canal for maintenance. The barrier was designed to repel the carp by giving them a non-lethal jolt.

Before dumping the poison, fish biologists will shock game fish and remove them from the canal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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