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Posted Wed Feb 17 2010: from Chicago Tribune, via DesdemonaDespair:
Carp invasion 'catastrophic' for Illinois river towns
While Midwest lawmakers and the White House ratchet up efforts to keep Asian carp out of Lake Michigan, boating and fishing communities up and down the Illinois River are under siege. In Peoria and farther downstate, invasive bighead and silver carp are so abundant that they're out-competing native fish for food, disrupting spawning habits and injuring boaters and water skiers. In Spring Valley, an old coal-mining town 100 miles southwest of Chicago, signs proclaim the city the sauger fishing capital of the world. The Illinois River is so critical to the local economy and tourism that area residents say the town might cease to exist without it. "Losing the river would be catastrophic, at least," said Bill Guerrini, a longtime Spring Valley resident and founder of the town's Walleye Fishing Club. "That's what we're talking about here, the loss of the river. And, unfortunately, there are a lot of people who won't realize it until it's gone."
[Read more stories about: invasive species, ecosystem interrelationships]

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