Asian carp proposal could cancel annual boat parade

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Chicago's seasonal ritual of boat parades could be scuttled as five states ask a judge to head off an invasion of Asian carp by blocking access to Lake Michigan.

Boats come out of winter storage along the Chicago and Calumet rivers each spring and motor through locks into the lake, where they harbor until autumn. The city schedules lifts of movable bridges twice a week to accommodate tall masts, Bloomberg reports.

Michigan and four other states will argue at a hearing next week that one way to shut out the carp is to close the locks. Boaters say that would strand them in dry dock or, for sailboats, cost thousands of dollars to have vessels transported overland.

Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania contend that the carp threaten the region's $7.1 billion sportfishing and commercial fishing industry.

U.S. District Judge Robert Dow in Chicago will hear evidence in the lawsuit filed in July by attorneys general for those states. It alleges that Illinois and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers haven't done enough to keep the fish out of the lakes, according to Bloomberg.

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