Great Lakes Governors_Smit

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said Saturday that separating the Great Lakes and Mississippi River systems is the “ultimate solution” to prevent voracious Asian carp from overrunning the lakes, a potential step toward resolving a longstanding regional feud.

During a meeting with governors of several neighboring states, Quinn said it would be a massive and costly undertaking to rework the Chicago canal project that linked the two giant watersheds a century ago. He defended Illinois’ efforts to block the advance of silver and bighead carp toward the lakes by hiring commercial fishermen and operating an electric barrier, but acknowledged more needs to be done.

“Ultimately, I think we have to separate the basins,” Quinn said. “I really feel that is the ultimate solution.”