Friends of the Mississippi River group demands action against invasive carp

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 10:40 PM CDT
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LAKE CITY, Minn. (KTTC) – They started making their way upstream decades ago, and have been found in the Minnesota waters of the Mississippi. But are invasive carp in Minnesota to stay?

“We have a really important opportunity to stop them from moving further upstream, but to do that, we need to act right now,” said Colleen O’Connor Toberman, a director with Friends of the Mississippi River.

Toberman sent a strong message to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Monday.

“We think it’s time for action, for deterrence and barriers, and they’re not doing those,” Toberman said.

Carp are filter feeders, so they can harm ecosystems by growing in population and eating plankton and other smaller items that the native species feed on. One particular carp that humans need to look out for is the silver carp, which can jump out of the water and cause harm.

“I’ve heard there are places on the Missouri River where water skiing is too dangerous,” Toberman said.

“I actually got hit in the face by a silver carp that jumped once, and I got a black eye,” said Grace Loppnow, the Invasive Fish Coordinator with the DNR.

The DNR says it’s not that worried about the carp in Minnesota waters just yet, because it hasn’t seen any spawning.

“That’s the point to which we start to which we start to worry about these things,” Loppnow said.

The DNR’s focus has been at Pool 8 in the Mississippi, but Toberman says that’s not enough.

“It seems like the most likely spot that reproduction could happen,” Loppnow said.

“If we saw spawning activity tomorrow, it would be too late,” Toberman said.

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