By Associated Press - Wednesday, November 19, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Conservation Police have arrested a commercial fisherman accused of illegally selling live Asian carp.

The possession and sale of live Asian bighead and silver carp is illegal because officials are trying to prevent the invasive species from spreading to the Great Lakes.

The fish have been migrating up the Mississippi since the 1970s and have reached the Illinois River. The voracious fish compete with native species for food.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday that Randall E. Watters of Hamburg was arrested last month and charged with the unlawful sale of live injurious species, a felony.

He did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.

Illinois Natural Resources Director Marc Miller said, commercial fishermen play a key role in the state’s efforts to control Asian carp.

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