ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Commercial fishermen along the St. Croix River are having the same luck as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in finding an Asian Carp. After a five-day search, the DNR came up empty-handed.

The commercial fishermen are now two days into their search, which began on Tuesday.

“We had DNR crews out all last week looking,” said Joel Stiras, the fisheries specialist with the DNR.

In early August, a DNR scientist discovered evidence of Asian Carp DNA in 22 of 50 locations sampled in the St. Croix River. Now, they’re looking for a live fish to confirm their presence.

“We have shocker boats and nets and still didn’t find any,” said Stiras. “We got a contract with commercial fishermen because they have a lot more net and are little more specialized.”

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports

The fishermen have a 2-mile net and, on a good day, they can catch up to 15,000 pounds of fish. It’s called an entanglement net. When fish swim through it, they try to back out and get their gills caught.

“We deal in a lot of Asian Carp,” said Tim Adams an independent commercial fisherman. “We actually caught two Asian Carp in Lake Pepin. Then we caught thousands and thousands of pounds down on the Illinois River.”

Adams said Silver Carp can be hard to catch because they’re crafty and fast swimmers.

The DNR has fielded a number of calls from boaters who said they spotted a Silver Carp leaping in the water. Stiras said many times it turns out to be Lake Sturgeon.

On Tuesday, the men searched several spots of the St. Croix. They looked under the Interstate 94 Bridge, Anderson Bay and in several parts of Hudson.

“If there are Asian Carp it’s going to be a small number,” said Stiras “It’s frustrating not finding them but its good news. I don’t want to see them. I never want to see them. But if they are here I would like to confirm it.”

The fishermen will be there at least until the end of the week.

Comments (4)
  1. Tell Truth says:

    DNR didn’t find the DNA, a study funded by a private nonprofit did, DNR finally joined the fray

    1. Swamp Fox says:

      It doesn’t matter who found the Asian carp DNA. Finding the DNA before the actual fish physical manifestations has been the precursor to the impending invasion of the alien species. This has happened with Zebra Mussel infestations in Lake Erie and the Great Lakes in the early 1970’s and Gobie infestations there after.

      DNA discoveries have shown to be the initial warning for invasion of this calamitous species. This phenomena has happened on the Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri Rivers. The carp will soon follow. This DNA report for the St.Croix River should be reconfirmed as a precaution. Do you want to see these carp on the pristine St.Croix? Think about it!

      1. Fish 4 Money says:

        So if they find one in the pristine St. Croix, what do they do then?
        The DNR probably has 100 people working on this but like I said what are they going to do when they find one? Doesn’t sound to me like they can do anything about it. If they could why wouldn’t they do it before now? Why bother to look now?
        There must be some federal grant money involved.

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