Alarming tests released by Army Corps show 7 more detections six miles from Lake Mich.
DETROIT NEWS STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
Lansing- Environmental DNA test results show seven new positive detections for Asian silver carp beyond electrical barriers in the Chicago Area Waterway System, according to information released online by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The results bring the total since 2009 to 85. The latest samples were found June 23 in Lake Calumet, less than six miles from Lake Michigan, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said Wednesday.
News of the findings is alarming officials, who fear the Asian carp could someday dominate the Great Lakes if there isn't more protection and monitoring.
"We often wonder after a tragedy if there had been any warning signs that we missed," Schuette said in a statement.
"We now have 85 warning signs that Asian carp are an impending tragedy for the Great Lakes.
"Losing the Great Lakes is not an option. We don't need any more studies. We need to act. And we need to act now."
The Army Corps of Engineers has been studying whether to divide the two freshwater basins; the study is due for completion in 2015.
Schuette is pushing ahead with a federal lawsuit calling for a permanent ecological barrier between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins.
In December, a federal judge rejected the request of Michigan and five other states to order the closure of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, which connects the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River system. And, last year, the White House announced that separating the two water systems would not be part of its strategy to combat the Asian carp in 2011.
Asian carp have spread steadily north in the Mississippi River system from the South, where they were introduced in the 1970s.
Scientists say carp would harm native species and the region's recreational boating industry, worth about $7 billion annually.
The issue has been on the national political map in the last two years after scientists confirmed carp genetic material was present where the Mississippi watershed meets Lake Michigan.
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