Carp in Albert Lea being tracked to improve water quality - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Carp in Albert Lea being tracked to improve water quality

Radio transmitter being implanted Radio transmitter being implanted

The Shell Rock River Watershed District (SRRWD) is tracking carp to help control their population and improve water quality.

SRRWD is working with the company, Carp Solutions, to tag some of the fish in Fountain and Albert Lea Lakes.

Employees with Carp Solutions have been going out on the water using an electrofishing boat. By applying electric current to the water, they can scoop up the carp and bring them to shore. Crews then implant radio transmitters into the fish before releasing them.

"Late in the season is kind of a good time to do these surgeries," said Jordan Wein of Carp Solutions. "The water is a little colder, [so] they are a little less affected by the change in temperatures. And being released back into the water, they usually recover a little bit better."

The radio transmitters allow SRRWD to know where the carp frequent the most, so steps can be taken to keep their numbers in check.

"We want to find out where they congregate, where they group up. And then, we want to tell the commercial fishermen where they are so they can come net them," said Jerad Stricker, a conservation technician with SRRWD.

If the carp population gets too high, water quality will suffer.

"They strip the bottom and they resuspend that phosphorus, and then the algae can grow on that phosphorus," Stricker explained. "At about 100 pounds per acre of carp, it starts to negatively affect water quality. So just [based on] initial estimates, it looks like we're about three to five times that."

Stricker said the project started a few weeks ago. It is expected to last about two years.


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