Several nonprofit organizations are holding a series of meetings at the end of this month to share updates and talk about efforts to prevent invasive carp from taking over the upper Mississippi River and its tributaries, including the St. Croix. The Friends of the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance are hosting the meetings in Red Wing, St. Paul, and Winona.
Invasive carp include several species that originated in Asia but were brought to the United States by commercial interests in the 1980s, after which they escaped confinement and have spread throughout much of the Mississippi River watershed. Several of the carp have been found in the St. Croix over the past three decades, though experts do not believe a reproducing population has been established yet.
Last month, the Minnesota DNR announced it had caught a record 323 of the fish in the Mississippi near Winona, including 296 silver carp (the species known for jumping out of the water when boats pass), 23 grass carp, and four bighead carp.
“While it is certainly concerning that we have captured this large number of invasive carp in Pool 6, it is likely that these adult fish moved upstream from other locations and were not the result of reproduction in Minnesota waters,” DNR Invasive Carp Coordinator Grace Loppnow said. “DNR will continue to evaluate the data and work with its partners to learn everything we can, while we also work to remove additional fish.”
The DNR is expected to share an update to its Invasive Carp Action Plan at the community meetings. There will also be time for questions and answers and discussion.
All events are from 5 – 7 p.m.
- Jan. 24 — Red Wing, MN
- Jan. 30 — St. Paul, MN (in person)
- Jan. 30 — St. Paul, MN (virtual livestream)
- Feb. 1 — Winona, MN
This events are co-sponsored by Conservation Minnesota, Friends of Pool 2, National Parks Conservation Association, Minnesota Conservation Federation, National Wildlife Federation and Wild Rivers Conservancy.