Judge: Chicago locks can stay open over Asian carpby Bob Kelleher, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A federal judge has rejected a request from Minnesota and other Great Lakes states to close Chicago area shipping locks to block Asian Carp from reaching the Great Lakes.
It's feared the voracious fish could destroy the Great Lakes fishery. U.S. District Judge Robert Dow ruled the states failed to show imminent harm would result from keeping the locks open.
Mark Biel, spokesman for the "Unlock our Jobs Coalition," a Chicago-area group opposed to closing the locks, said his group believes the steps being taken currently to mitigate Asian Carp in the Illinois River system are working.
"We're not in favor of Asian Carp getting into the Great Lakes. We just want to make sure that the waterways stay open for us to move our products back and forth," he said.
Minnesota Attorney General Spokesman Ben Wogsland expressed disappointment in the ruling, saying he hopes the federal government will step up efforts to protect the Great Lakes from the carp.
Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox filed the lawsuit in July, joined by five other states including Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Joy Yearout, with the Michigan Attorney General's office said the court's preliminary ruling does not stop the multi-state lawsuit.
"We're still planning to move forward through trial, or an appeal, and hopefully get some action," Yearout said.