Study seeks origins of carp DNA in Chicago waters

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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- Federal scientists are studying whether genetic material from Asian carp found in waterways near Chicago suggests the presence of live fish.

DNA from bighead and silver carp has turned up in dozens of water samples taken beyond an electric barrier that's supposed to prevent the invasive plankton eaters from reaching Lake Michigan.

It's unclear whether the findings mean the carp have evaded the barrier and are moving closer to the lake, where scientists fear they could harm native fish populations. Just one live Asian carp has been found past the barrier, and it's unclear how it got there.

Federal agencies released their first interim report Thursday. It draws no conclusions about the DNA's origins. Technicians will examine whether the DNA came from boats' bilge water, fish-eating birds or other sources.