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Illinois Fishery Hopes To Cash In On Asian Carp

Asian Carp

In concentrated numbers, the leaping Asian carp pose significant danger to boaters navigating the open rivers. But from a purely ecological standpoint, the non-native carp feed primarily on plankton and bacteria, collapsing the food chain. (Credit: CBS)

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PEARL, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois company hopes to cash in on the invasive Asian carp that have infested the Illinois River and now threaten the Great Lakes.

Big River Fish Corp. in the southwestern town of Pearl plans to catch them and sell them.

The company has a $2 million federal grant to expand its operation and a contract to send 30 million pounds of the carp to a Chinese company.

The fish will be marketed as “wild Mississippi River fish.”

Big River Fish will move most of its operation to a former birdhouse factory in Griggsville sometime in early 2011.

Government officials and environmental groups of trying to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

They can grow to 100 pounds, and many fear they could devastate the Great Lakes fishing industry by outcompeting native fish for food.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)