Invasive silver carp netted near Winona
Specimen marks northernmost catch on Mississippi River
Winona, Minn. — A commercial fisherman has caught a silver carp – the jumping variety – in the Mississippi River's Pool 6 near Winona. It marks the northernmost location the invasive fish, one of four species of Asian carp in the United States, has been found in Minnesota.
Commercial fisherman Tim Adams, of Wabasha, along with George Richtman, of Trempealeau, Wis., and Bob Davis, of Pepin, Wis., caught the fish on Thursday, March 1 in the Mississippi.
They also caught a bighead carp and a grass carp in the same 1,000-foot net.
“It’s kind of scary,” Adams said. “We had one of each. I don’t think anyone’s had multiples in the same seine haul, that I know of.”
Bighead carp have been netted before on the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers in Minnesota, but Thursday’s catch is the first time a live silver carp has been found as far upstream in Minnesota. According to the Minnesota DNR website, three silver carp (two in Pool 8, and one in Pool 9) have been caught between 2008 and 2011 on the Mississippi River.
“It just verifies that they’re here,” Adams said.
Adams is the commercial fisherman the Minnesota DNR has hired in the past to try to catch silver carp in the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers near the Twin Cities. eDNA tests have turned up positive results in those locations, though a live fish hasn’t yet been caught.
The bighead carp Adams and his crew caught weighed 28 pounds. He didn’t have a weight for the silver carp, but estimated it weighed 7 or 8 pounds.
Adams informed the DNR of the catch.
“I told them ‘I have the phone call you don’t want,’” he said. “They didn’t want that phone call.”
The Asian carp were just a tiny portion of about 50,000 pounds of roughfish that Adams and his crew caught via commercial nets on Thursday. As of Friday afternoon, they still had about 20,000 pounds of fish to sort through.
“There could easily be some more hidden among all those fish,” Adams said. “They’re hard to spot.”
Adams said he was “really surprised” to catch the silver carp, though he believed they were in the area.
“I saw one jump there last summer,” he said. “Without a doubt in my mind.”