SIU gets contract to study Asian carp

August 10, 2010 at 07:02 AM

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - Southern Illinois University is getting $1.1 million from the state to try to find benefits that can be derived from the Asian carp infesting some rivers.

As part of the contract with the state Department of Natural Resources, the Carbondale school’s researchers will seek to pinpoint ways to establish a new fishery that could harvest and market the fish.

Asian carp are large, bony fish that occupy the Mississippi River, as well as portions of the Missouri, Illinois and Ohio rivers.

Several varieties of the fish can grow to 100 pounds or more, and they’ve been known to crowd out native species and damage their habitat.

Officials have worked aggressively to keep the invasive carp out of the Great Lakes, which are popular for sport and commercial fishing.