States join battle to protect Great Lakes from Asian carp

CHICAGO - MAY 20: Fish in the Little Calumet River struggle to survive after being poisoned by the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee, which is made up of the Illinois department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and several other organizations May 20, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. Rotenone, a fish toxicant, was used to kill all of the fish in an approximately two-mile stretch of the river. The Committee was killing the fish to search for evidence of Asian Carp in the waterway. Efforts are being made to keep the invasive fish from entering the Great Lakes. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says an interstate partnership is being established to help strengthen defenses against invasive Asian carp in a Chicago-area waterway.

The initiative would help pay costs of upgrading the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, Illinois, a key choke point between the carp-infested Illinois River and Lake Michigan.

A plan drafted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would spend $275 million on measures to block the carps’ path, including an electric fish barrier, noisemakers and vessel cleansing devices.

Snyder says the interstate partnership would temporarily cover most of the costs of operating and maintaining the system — about $8 million a year.

He says Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and the Canadian province of Ontario are taking part, while other Great Lakes states are invited to join.