New fears of the Asian carp invading the Great Lakes are justified, says a leading fish researcher in Illinois. Professor Jim Garvey, director of the fisheries and aquaculture center at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, says, “The Illinois River and even the upper Mississippi River are not in isolation. They have basements, and the basement is the Missouri River, and the Ohio River, and, also, the lower Mississippi River, including the middle Mississippi River, and what we’ve found is that reproduction of these carp is pretty consistent from the year to year in the middle Mississippi River.”
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The concern, in addition to their rapid multiplication, says Garvey, is their quick movement. They’ve gotten up north quickly, and they have a tendency to reproduce to fill the numbers taken out by harvest. Garvey says the Asian carp, by jumping out of the river, have done a great job of getting the attention of reporters and activists in Peoria and Chicago. And, Garvey concludes, the carp have proven to be more edible than they are marketable.