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Search resumes next week for Asian carp in waters near Lake Michigan


CHICAGO (WTAQ) - Searchers will try again next week to find the invasive Asian carp in Chicago area waters close to Lake Michigan.

That’s after scientists found the carp’s DNA in more places around the area in the past four months.

Michigan’s attorney general says over 80 positive samples have been found so far this year – and it’s a good reason to keep trying to close the water link between the Great Lakes and the carp-infested Mississippi River. Michigan and Wisconsin are among the states suing to force the closure.

Over 170 samples were taken from Chicago’s North Shore Channel from June through September – and 10-percent had the carp’s DNA. The same was true for 17 of 57 samples last month in the nearby Chicago River.

As a result, an actual search for the bloated carp will take place next Tuesday through Friday on the North Shore Channel and a six-mile stretch of the Chicago River west of the city.

The federal government requires the searches whenever 3 straight rounds of tests turn up DNA evidence. Experts are not sure whether the DNA means that actual Asian carp swam through – or if the DNA came from other sources like feces from birds that eat fish.

Despite two previous rounds of inspections, only one actual Asian carp has been spotted in the region. It went through an electronic barrier in 2010, and was discovered a few miles south of Lake Michigan.