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The Associated Press December 2, 2010, 3:50PM ET

Judge: Chicago locks can stay open over Asian carp

A federal judge has ruled against five states hoping to stop Asian Carp from invading the Great Lakes by closing Chicago-area shipping locks.

U.S. District Judge Robert Dow on Thursday said the locks will remain open. He says while potential harm from the invasive species could be great, plaintiffs did not present enough evidence that the harm was imminent.

Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin officials wanted the locks closed and barriers installed to prevent the giant fish from slipping into the lakes and potentially decimating a $7 billion-a-year fishing industry.

Opponents say that closing the locks would undermine critical flood-control measures in the Chicago region and hurt commerce.

A spokeswoman for the Michigan Attorney General's office says officials are reviewing the ruling and didn't immediately have a comment.

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