Swanson: Stop the carp

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is joining Michigan in an effort to keep Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes.

She filed a legal brief supporting a Michigan lawsuit asking the U.S. Supreme Court to immediately order Chicago-area government officials to take steps preventing the carp from entering Lake Michigan, from where they could spread to Lake Superior.

“Lake Superior is an important environmental and economic asset to the state of Minnesota," Swanson wrote. "Asian carp — which reproduce rapidly and consume huge amounts of food — threaten the Great Lakes ecosystem. Emergency action must be taken to prevent the introduction of Asian carp into the Great Lakes."

She also said: “Proper stewardship of the Great Lakes means preventing an environmental train wreck caused by the introduction of Asian carp into the Great Lakes ecosystem.”

Asian carp, which can weigh up to 100 pounds, are the ones made infamous by videos showing them flying through the air, and sometimes hitting anglers in boats.

Swanson said Minnesota’s 140 miles of Superior shoreline could be in danger if the carp take over the lake.

Superior is in danger, she said, because authorities are not taking proper precautions at some Chicago-area locks and other structures, allowing the carp to move from rivers to Lake Michigan. She joined Michigan officials in calling for new barriers and other actions to stop the carp.

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