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Feds, IL state officials promise increased effort to find Asian carp


CHICAGO, IL (WTAQ) - Federal and state officials promised Thursday to step up their efforts to find the invasive Asian carp in the waters near Chicago.

A regional coordinating committee unveiled a $6.5 million dollar plan which will actually reduc testing that identifies a carp’s DNA without spotting the actual fish.

In February, a federal study found that Asian carp do not necessarily have to be present for their DNA to be left someplace.

The study said the DNA can be spread by things like fish excrement, storm sewers, and fish-eating birds.

The new plan calls for a more intense sampling of fish in waters that connect the Great Lakes to the carp-infested Mississippi River – plus two DNA sampling missions.

No Asian carp have been caught or seen past electronic barriers. 

Officials said, however, that the discovery of DNA will not result in automatic responses as in the past. Wisconsin is among the states working to keep the Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

The Badger State and others say the fish has the potential to ruin the $7 billion commercial fishing industry.