4 invasive carp confirmed in Minnesota waters
The Minnesota DNR has confirmed the capture of a bighead carp and two silver carp, and detection of a third tagged silver carp, within the past several weeks.
The bighead carp was captured at the Xcel Energy King Power Plant in Oak Park Heights. All of the silver carp were in Pool 4 of the Mississippi River between Red Wing and Wabasha in southeastern Minnesota.
“The DNR has confirmed between two and seven individual invasive carp captures each spring since 2013,” said DNR invasive fish coordinator Nick Frohnauer. “It is unusual that several of a single species would be captured in a short span of time. But, given the persistent high water this spring, this is not a surprise.”
Frohnauer noted that while the DNR continues to be very concerned about the potential impacts of invasive carp in Minnesota waters, individual adult fish captures do not indicate reproduction or an established population of invasive carp in the Mississippi River or elsewhere in the state.
Persistent high water in southern Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois has created “open river” conditions in which fish can move upriver unimpeded by locks and dams. Open river conditions can benefit native species like lake sturgeon and paddlefish, which can swim hundreds of miles in search of preferable habitat. These conditions also allow other, non-native species to move upriver more easily.
A DNR telemetry array detected a silver carp in Pool 4 that was originally tagged much farther south, in Pool 16, in April 2017 by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). A silver carp was caught by an angler in Pool 4 May 24, and another was captured in Pool 4 June 4 by Xcel Energy. The bighead carp was captured on Thursday, June 20 during routine monitoring conducted by the DNR.