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Upcoming project aims to remove local invasive carp

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Silver Carp
Bighead Carp

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - In the spring of 2020, there were over 50 invasive carp captured in Pool 8 of the Mississippi River. This prompted action from many local environmental agencies including both the Minnesota and Wisconsin DNR.

Those state agencies are also partnering with the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct an extensive invasive carp removal.

According to Invasive Species Specialist at the Minnesota DNR Carli Wagner, we've captured both silver and grass carp species in the area. This new project to remove carp with be using a method called the "modified unified method." This method essentially combines netting and herding techniques like electrofishing and underwater speakers to comb through a large body of water like the Mississippi River said Wagner.

"We have so many great native fishes, a huge diversity, and that's really why we're doing this project. We want to protect our native fisheries for recreation, for ecosystem health, for commercial fishing. We want to protect those native fisheries and removing invasive carp and preventing their establishment in Minnesota and Wisconsin waters is the way to do that," said Wagner.

Last spring's carp removal was one of the largest in state history, but the DNR said at least there are no signs of spawning with the carp, at least not yet. This effort is to extract the carp before they start reproducing and growing in numbers.

The DNR said this search and removal effort will start on April 5, and could last 7 to 12 days. Portions of Pool 8 will be closed for one to three days at a time which will temporarily suspend commercial fishing and recreational use in those isolated areas. This will be suspended on the weekend as boat traffic is too high.

Results will be reported when the removal and analysis is complete.

To find out more about invasive carp, click here.

Warren Sears

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