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Attorney General Seeking Federal Funds To Manage Asian Carp

The fish have already been found in many of the rivers that connect to the Great Lakes, including the Wabash River in Indiana.

asian carp

Photo: Dan O'Keefe/Michigan Sea Grant

An Asian carp jumps out of the water in Michigan.

Indiana’s Attorney General is proposing the federal government create grants that would be used to combat the spread of the invasive Asian carp.

The US Army Corp of Engineers published a study last month that laid out eight options for keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

The fish have already been found in many of the rivers that connect the Great Lakes, including the Wabash River in Indiana.

But Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s spokesman Bryan Corbin says the study did not focus enough on what could be done in Indiana.

“His view is that some of the federal funding which is going to some of the issues related to the study be reserved and used for state grants for state government to pursue local programs,” Corbin says.

Purdue University Professor Reuben Goforth says the current options can be largely put into two plans: keeping the carp out of their preferred habitat so they slowly die out on their own or eating them.

“There are a number of different uses for the fish. It’s actually a very light tasting, very nutritious fish,” Goforth says.

If Indiana were to receive federal funds, it could research other options.

But Goforth says if the government was giving out grants, most of them would probably go to Illinois because the Illinois River connects directly with the Great Lakes, whereas the Wabash River connects with the lakes through smaller tributaries and poses a less immediate threat.

Correction: An earlier version of this story indicated the rivers flowed into the Great Lakes. In fact, the water flows from the Great Lakes into the rivers, and the Asian carp are spreading upstream toward the Great Lakes.

  • S. Clemens

    Good to hear that the Attorney General is going to manage carp.

  • mosma1

    The Wabash River flows southward to the Ohio River, and then to the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico. Asian carp are increasingly present in the Wabash, but they won’t be going to the Great Lakes unless they can jump far enough to get into another river system.

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