FILE - Asian Carp

It's not that Illinois is being rude, or even dismissive, it's just that Michigan's promise of $8 million to help keep Asian carp in the Illinois River doesn't solve today's problem, according to the Rauner administration. 

Illinois Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti said Illinois needs to focus on its Asian carp problem immediately. That's why she says Gov. Bruce Rauner turned down the money offered by the state of Michigan. 

“We really sincerely appreciate this offer, but with the offer the governor also expressed a sense of urgency,” Sanguinetti said. “He indicated that we need to act now. But these monies are tied to what is called operation and maintenance costs. Costs for a project that is not going to exist for the next 10 years.”

Sanguinetti said many Great Lakes states worry about what may happen if the fish ever get into Lake Michigan. 

But, so far, she said, Illinois has been able to keep the carp well away from the lake through fishing. 

“Imagine if we were able to take the money and double down on our commercial fishing. That’s where we are going to see a bigger impact,” Sanguinetti added. 

Michigan's $8 million would have gone toward electric barriers at the lock and damn near Joliet.  That project has been years in the planning, and is still years away from being started. 

Reporter

An industry veteran with two decades of experience in media, Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois statewide issues for INN.

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