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Klobuchar, five senators introduce Asian carp bill

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Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar introduced legislation today with five senators that would help combat the spread of Asian Carp, an invasive species that has created problems throughout the lower Mississippi and Missouri rivers and is now threatening to enter the Great Lakes through the Chicago canal system. Klobuchar joined Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in introducing the Stop Asian Carp Act.

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"Minnesotans take great pride in our lakes and rivers, and there's no place for Asian carp in any of them," Klobuchar said. "This invasive species will not only ruin the habitat of our native fish populations, but it also will have a harmful effect on commercial and recreational fishing, tourism, and boating. This bill can help stop the spread of this dangerous species."

Asian carp can weigh more than 100 pounds, and they can grow to a length of more than four feet. They are well-suited to the climate of the Great Lakes region, which is similar to their native Asian habitats. If allowed to enter the Great Lakes, the species could negatively impact the region's $7.5-billion fishing industry and the 800,000 jobs it supports.

The Stop Asian Carp Act would direct the Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate a hydrologic separation of the waterways that connect to the Great Lakes and examine alternative pathways for barge and recreational boating traffic. The bill would also direct the U.S. Geological Survey and the Fish and Wildlife Service to monitor and survey the waters of the Great Lakes basin to identify additional threats from Asian Carp and to identify means of prevention.

Klobuchar was a cosponsor of the Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act, which was passed by Congress and became law in 2010.

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