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Minnesota, Ohio join lawsuit against Illinois over Asian carp

Minnesota and Ohio joined Michigan in its lawsuit to close an Illinois canal connecting a tributary of the Mississippi River to Lake Michigan. The states say the invasion of Asian carp through the canal could destroy the Great Lakes ecosystem.

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Illinois River silver carp jump out of the water after being disturbed by sounds of watercraft in this December 2009 file photo. Many fear that the Asian carp, which can reach 4 feet long and weigh up to 100 pounds, will wreak havoc, not by attacking native fish, but starving them out.

Nerissa Michaels/Illinois River Biological Station/Detroit Free Press/AP

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Minnesota and Ohio have joined Michigan in a lawsuit against Illinois in the battle keep Asian carp from the Mississippi Basin from invading the Great Lakes through a historic Chicago canal.

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson announced her state’s involvement in the lawsuit on Monday after judging that the presence of the Asian Carp along the state’s 149-mile shoreline on Lake Superior would directly threaten the state’s commercial and recreational fishing industries, which together generate $2.7 billion.

“We pride ourselves on outdoor recreation; we call ourselves ‘The Land of 10,000 Lakes’,” she said in a phone interview. “We do think it is a public emergency.”

The total revenue from fishing and tourism on the Great Lakes amounts to $7 billion.

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