Several invasive bighead carp were caught in the St. Croix River at Bayport over the weekend. The National Park Service has confirmed the news and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is planning to officially announce it as soon as tomorrow.
The bighead species are not the variety that infamously leap out of the water, but can still devastate fishing and river ecology.
Videos and photos posted on social media show anglers fishing from shore near the Allen S. King Power Plant in Bayport catching multiple non-native fish. Warning: the videos contain NSFW language.
Thank you to Paul Earney at St. Croix River Fishing for bringing attention to these recent reports. On Facebook, Paul wrote, “This is devastating news for anglers and fans of the St. Croix River.” In the comments on this Facebook post, more anglers offer eyewitness reports of the fish being caught.
In an email, St. Croix River fishing guide Brian Klawitter wrote, “It’s certainly not good news but it’s not the end of the world as we know it either. Please keep in mind how bad the zebra mussels were going to be for the St Croix and other rivers… I think most of us have known they have been here all along but not in any breeding quantity.”
The Minnesota DNR recently announced the publication of a draft Invasive Carp Action Plan. Public feedback was accepted last month, and the plan is moving ahead. The St. Croix River Association is working on a St. Croix River-specific plan. A recent article from the Osceola Sun covered the project.