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Asian carp fight continues

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota members of Congress introduced legislation to battle Asian carp.

U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Reps. Keith Ellison, Erik Paulsen, Tim Walz and Rick Nolan filed a bill to speed up federal officials' decision about whether to close the Upper St. Anthony Falls lock on the Mississippi River to help stop the spread of the invasive species. The bill also would require immediate closure if Asian carp are found in the Mississippi near the Twin Cities.

"Asian carp not only pose a serious threat to Minnesota's environment, they also threaten the recreation and fishing industries that play a key role in the state's economy," Klobuchar said. "We must do everything we can to stop the further spread of this invasive species into our lakes and rivers, and this legislation will help the state take action to protect Minnesota's waterways."

Franken said the carp's spread would be disastrous.

"Few other areas in our nation are as under assault from invasive water species as is Minnesota," Nolan said. "For the sake of our tourist industry, our outdoor sports and recreation industries and the jobs and pleasures they provide, we must take all reasonable steps to keep the Asian carp away from our lakes and rivers."

Natural resources experts fear that if the invasive carp invade Minnesota waters they will eat so much food that native species will die out.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.