Illinois state officials say they are thrilled by the mysterious deaths of thousands of invasive Asian carp in the Illinois River last week.
Wayne Herndon, a state biologist who discovered the fish kill, told the Chicago Sun-Times: "The impressive thing was the large size of the individuals -- up to 50 pounds apiece. That number of carcasses floating around on the river kind of gained your attention."
U.S. Fish and Wildlife experts are examining the fish to determine the cause of the kill that occurred along a 110-mile stretch of the river. Initial speculation centers on a viral infection.
"You could damn near walk across the river on the fish," said Glenn Neubauer, a chef at a Peru, Ill., restaurant. "We counted 100 and it wasn't even an hour."
The carp would threaten commercial and sport fishing in the Great Lakes if they spread into Lake Michigan, the Sun-Times said.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
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