Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

Weather forecasters are predicting slow relief for Missouri and Illinois towns battling floods. 

A number of towns situated along the Mississippi River have been dealing with rising waters over the past few days. The northeast Missouri town of Clarksville is experiencing its sixth flood in the past decade, while roads around Grafton, Illinois, are also under water.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

When the French explorer Père Marquette traveled down the Illinois River in 1673, his journal tells of encounters with “monstrous fish” so large they nearly overturned his canoe.  

In all likelihood the fish Marquette was talking about were channel catfish, but nearly 340 years later fisherman Josh Havens says it’s bighead carp... and silver carp which now harass boaters on the Illinois (silver carp are the jumpers).

(via Flickr/lsgcp)

Updated 5:04 p.m. with more details.

The tiny riverfront community of Grafton, Ill. has announced plans to build a plant to process Asian carp culled from the Mississippi and Illinois rivers.

The plant represents a $5.4 million joint venture between American Heartland Fish in Grafton, Falcon Protein, based in Alabama, and Wuhan Hui Chang Real Estate, a Chinese investment group.

Grafton Mayor Tom Thompson says the new plant will provide a welcome influx of good paying jobs.

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The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that the Grafton Ferry, recently thought to be closing after 8 years of operation, will be back in operation this spring.

The paper reports that the City Council of Grafton, Ill. has approved the city's purchase of the former Grafton Ferry landing in St. Charles County.