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Evidence growing that Asian carp are getting past electric barrier

CHICAGO - There's growing evidence that at least some Asian carp have gotten past an electronic barrier aimed at keeping the invasive fish out of Lake Michigan.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, 17 water samples tested positive for the carp's DNA, out of 114 samples taken beyond the barrier close to Lake Michigan at Chicago. That's a positive rate of around 15-percent. Last year, 34 out of 24-hundred water samples tested positive for the Asian carp's DNA - a rate of just one-and-a-half percent. Army Corps officials say a positive test is not necessarily proof that a bloated carp had escaped the barrier. Officials say it's possible that a barge can leave a positive sample from its bilge water - and so could garbage from fish served at Chicago's restaurants. Kevin Irons of the Illinois DNR says his agency can't tell if the samples are from live-or-dead fish - but they take each instance seriously because of all the uncertainty.

University of Notre Dame researchers say the new numbers show that at least some Asian carp have gotten past the electronic barrier. But no one has actually witnessed it since two years, when an active carp was spotted just six miles south of Lake Michigan.