In Michigan
5:45 pm
Mon April 26, 2010

MI officials mull options after high court refuses carp case

LANSING, MI –

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to take a case filed by Michigan and seven other Great Lakes states seeking to shut down a Chicago shipping canal. They claim drastic action is needed to ensure the invasive Asian carp does not escape from the canal into the Great Lakes water system.

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The case pits Michigan and other Great Lakes states against Illinois, the city of Chicago, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Illinois officials say closing the canal would imperil five billion dollars in economic activity and thousands of jobs.

Michigan and the other states can start over now in a lower court, or hope for a political solution from Congress or the Obama administration.

John Sellek is with the state attorney general's office. He says Michigan was anxious to get a solution in place before the spring thaw.

"Once the weather warms up, the fish are a lot more likely to head toward Lake Michigan," he says. "We've had some pretty darn nice days out lately."

The Asian carp has already infested the Mississippi water system. Experts say if Asian carp invade the Great Lakes, the invasive fish could starve out other species and decimate the $7 billion Great Lakes fishing industry.