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Fishing poll: Minnesotans want to combat carp

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A majority of Minnesotans would support the dramatic act of closing the Mississippi River locks in an effort to halt the upstream spread of invasive carp.

The Pioneer Press has details of a poll commissioned by the Stop Carp Coalition, a Minnesota advocacy group and released by the National Wildlife Federation and other conservation groups.

KMSP reports that the poll found that 63 percent of Minnesota voters would support closing river locks in Minneapolis and St. Paul to prevent the spread of Asian carp up the Mississippi. According to poll results, 93 percent of respondents would be "concerned" if Asian carp got into Minnesota lakes and rivers and 60 percent said they'd be "very concerned."

A congressional plan to force the closure of at least one lock remains bogged down. Without congressional action, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lacks the authority to take the action..

Asian carp have colonized large areas of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. Wildlife advocates fear that they could destroy native fish and their habitat. The invasive fish could harm the economy as well. The DNR estimates that fishing supports 43,000 Minnesota jobs and contributes $640 million a year in tax revenues to the state and federal government.

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