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.”
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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.