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US Army Corps To Study Asian Carp, Other Invasives

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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CHICAGO (AP) — Federal officials have laid out a plan for studying how to stop invasive species — including the voracious Asian carp — from migrating between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday that the primary focus of the $25 million study will be on Chicago waterways, because that’s where canals provide a direct connection between the two basins.

Many fear that voracious Asian Carp could outcompete other species of fish for food if they reach the Great Lakes, potentially devastating the lakes’ $7 billion-a-year sportfishing industry.

But the study also will look at others areas where flooding could open pathways for carp and other invasive species.

The study is tentatively expected to be completed in 2015.