$3M Ill. Fish Kill Yields 1 Carp

Scientists pleased with effort to combat invasive species
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2009 2:00 PM CST
$3M Ill. Fish Kill Yields 1 Carp
A crew member pulls a fish from the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

The 3-day, $3 million attempt to purge a canal leading to Lake Michigan of invasive Asian carp has so far yielded just a single dead specimen. Biologists are still sifting through the tens of thousands of other fish poisoned in the purge, the largest deliberate fish kill in Illinois history. They say they’ll be happy even if they don’t find many more of the invasive fish, taking it as a good sign the area’s clean.

“We can’t say how many there are out there,” says one state official. “We’re still in the beginning stages.” Officials poured 2,200 gallons of rotenone, a chemical deadly to fish but harmless to humans, into the canal because they feared the Asian carp, which can grow to 110 pounds and eat several times its body weight in a day, would ruin regional fishing if the species infiltrated the Great Lakes. (Read more Asian carp stories.)

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