- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

UTICA, Ill. (AP) - Officials have set the dates for an Illinois fishing tournament that also helps remove an invasive species from the state’s waterways.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced that the annual Director’s Shoot State Bowfishing Championship is slated for July 19 and 20 on the Illinois River at Starved Rock State Park near Utica.

State officials say the tournament helps to remove tens of thousands of Asian carp from Illinois rivers each year.

Asian carp are an invasive species not native to the state’s natural habitats. Environmental officials say the species is threatening ecosystems throughout the Midwest, including the Great Lakes.

The event is a partnership with the Bowfishing Association of Illinois. It includes multiple competitions and a grand prize of at least $1,000. It costs $30 to enter.

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