DNR releases Invasive Carp Action Plan update

Agency announces new plans to help prevent carp from taking over St. Croix and other rivers.




3 minute read

Silver carp jumping in the Fox River. (Ryan Hagerty/USFWS)

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has released the updated Invasive Carp Action Plan (PDF) for the next 10 years of prevention and management efforts in Minnesota. 

The plan includes a prioritized set of recommended actions that build upon the DNR’s current intensive invasive carp efforts, including additional actions in the categories of:

  • Monitoring invasive carp populations to support response actions
  • Prevention and deterrence to limit migration in the state
  • Response preparation to ensure swift actions if invasive carp are found in new locations
  • Management and control strategies to remove fish and minimize populations
  • Outreach, communication and coordination to work with key partners and the public to minimize risk and impacts to the state

“Minnesota is a leader in the use of cutting-edge invasive carp management strategies to protect our waters as well as a leader in collaborative planning,” DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen said. “I want to thank the partners who engaged in the process to inform this plan. Today’s updated action plan is a road map that will guide the DNR’s work with our partners and all Minnesotans to minimize the impact of silver, grass, bighead and black carp on our state.”

The DNR’s update of the plan was informed by engagement with more than a dozen agencies and organizations involved in preventing the spread of invasive carp in the Mississippi River.  

“As we have said before, invasive carp prevention and management is a team effort, and the DNR is fortunate to be part of a big team,” DNR Invasive Carp Coordinator Grace Loppnow said. “The updated action plan prioritizes a range of prevention and management techniques — because we want to use the methods that are proving most effective. There is no single solution to this complex challenge.”

Invasive carp management efforts 

The DNR and partners are already using a wide range of efforts to manage invasive carp, including tagging and tracking invasive carp to better understand and exploit their movements, contracting with commercial fishing operations to target invasive carp, and developing and testing new methods to capture invasive carp. In addition to continuing and expanding these existing efforts, the updated Action Plan also includes steps to further evaluate potential invasive carp barriers and other deterrents to protect Minnesota. To date, no evidence of invasive carp reproduction has been observed in Minnesota waters.  

Additional information about invasive carp in Minnesota 

Invasive carp have been moving upstream since escaping into the Mississippi River from commercial fish farms in Arkansas in the 1970s. These fish compete with native species, and silver carp are known to jump out of the water in a way that can pose a risk to boaters. 

Individual invasive carp have been caught as far upstream as Pool 2 of the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities metro area (bighead, grass and silver), the King Power Plant on the St. Croix River by Oak Park Heights (bighead and silver), and just downstream of Granite Falls in the Minnesota River (bighead). 

State and federal funding sources, including the Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund and Outdoor Heritage Fund, have provided key funding for the DNR’s invasive carp detection and response program. 

Invasive carp captures in Minnesota must be reported to the DNR immediately by calling 651-587-2781 or emailing invasivecarp.dnr@state.mn.us. People are asked to take a photo and transport the carp to the nearest DNR fisheries office or make arrangements for it to be picked up by a DNR official. A permit can be requested to keep captured invasive carp for consumption or disposal. 

More information about invasive carp is available on the DNR website (mndnr.gov/invasivecarp).


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3 responses to “DNR releases Invasive Carp Action Plan update”

  1. Jeff Willius Avatar

    The fact that invasive carp species have already been found in the St. Croix belies the positive, matter-of-fact tone of the article. Does anyone really believe that, once individuals are found in any river, “no evidence of invasive carp reproduction has been observed in Minnesota waters”?

  2. Susan A Dustin Avatar
    Susan A Dustin

    I agree that the article didn’t reflect the level of severity taking place in Minnesota waters.

  3. St. Croix 360 Avatar
    St. Croix 360

    Please note that this press release was written by the MN DNR.


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DNR releases Invasive Carp Action Plan update