Mich. AG says he'll sue to protect lakes from carp

Bighead carp
In this Thursday, Jan. 5, 2006 file photo, a bighead carp, front, a species of the Asian carp, swims in a new exhibit that highlights plants and animals that eat or compete with Great Lakes native species, at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.
M. Spencer Green/Associated Press

Michigan's attorney general said Sunday he will go to court to try to force the closure of Chicago-area locks and protect the Great Lakes from the invasive Asian carp.

Attorney General Mike Cox said in a statement he will file a lawsuit in federal court soon but his office did not provide an exact time frame. The suit would aim to close locks near the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, where officials found one carp Thursday.

Authorities are trying to ensure the carp don't reach Lake Michigan where they could starve out smaller, less aggressive competitors and endanger the Great Lakes fishing industries.

But closing the locks could also disrupt the movement of millions of tons of iron ore, coal and other goods.

Part of the canal was poisoned last week in an effort to kill the carp.

Temporary lock closure is already under consideration. Cameron Davis, the Great Lakes adviser to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said Friday that discussions were under way about shutting the O'Brien Lock while crews continue to dump poison in a stretch of the canal.

Before making a final decision, officials want to finish searching for Asian carp and conduct other tests along the canal to pinpoint where they might be located, Davis said. The lock would shut down immediately if officials do choose to close the lock.

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