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Minnesota joins four states in suit seeking to keep Asian carp out of key waterways

Minnesota is one of five states suing the federal government and Chicago’s water department in federal court, demanding they close shipping locks that could allow Asian carp into the Great Lakes. The other states are Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Officials in the states fear the carp, which can grow to more than 4 feet long and weigh up to 100 pounds, will quickly overwhelm native species, decimating commercial and recreational fishing stocks in the Great Lakes.

In June, an Asian carp was caught six miles from Lake Michigan in a branch of the waterway that connects the Mississippi River to the lake.

Officials in the states want locks and gates closed and other barriers erected to keep the invasive species out of the Great Lakes. U.S. and Illinois officials have refused, saying they want to keep the waterways in question open to commerce. The U.S. Supreme Court has twice refused to order the locks closed.

The lawsuit was filed today in U.S. District Court in Northern Illinois.

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