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Klobuchar and Paulsen want more done to control Asian carp

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen want the Council on Environmental Quality to work harder to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

In a letter to the agency, they call for upgrading the Coon Rapids Dam, which state and federal officials say will keep the carp from spreading in the Upper Mississippi River watershed.

“Minnesota is blessed with thriving outdoor recreation and fishing industries that contribute $4 billion annually to the state’s economy. But the spread of the carp to Minnesota’s northern lakes and streams could have a disastrous economic and ecological impact and could lead to an introduction into the Great Lakes,” said the letter.

They’re talking about mega-carp, up to 4 feet long and weighing 100 pounds.

Said the letter:

While national attention has focused on the Asian carp’s imminent arrival in Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes via the Illinois River near Chicago, attention must also be paid to Minnesota pathways to the Great Lakes. The carp have already been spotted in Lake Pepin, the widest naturally occurring part of the Mississippi River 60 miles south of St. Paul and as far north as Hastings, Minnesota. A short distance upstream is the Coon Rapids Dam, which provides an important opportunity to halt the movement of the carp.

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