DNR: Recent Asian Carp Discovery ‘Discouraging’

WINONA, Minn. (WCCO) — A silver carp and a bighead carp were caught in a net last week in the Mississippi River near Winona. Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources says it’s the farthest upstream discovery made so far.

Steve Hirsch, DNR Eco-Waters Division director, says the non-native species can cause serious ecological problems as they spread into new waters.

Hirsch said the destructive fish are voracious eaters, capable of consuming 5 to 20 percent of their body weight each day. They feed on algae and other microscopic organisms.

“They can basically out-compete our native species at that low end of the food chain. Almost think about it like intercepting the food chain,” said Hirsch.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Susie Jones Reports

Hirsch said it is part of a trend they have been seeing for some time. He said no established populations of bighead or Silver carp are known in Minnesota. However, individual Asian carp have been caught by commercial in recent years.

“It is discouraging,” he said.

Hirsch hopes that the discovery will prompt people to take action.

“You know we would like to see some kind of barrier at the Ford Dam, or the St Anthony Falls dam as well to slow down the upriver movement,” said Hirsch.

Bighead carp can weigh up to 110 pounds and Silver carp up to 60 pounds.

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  • gtV

    Well, sports fans, the carp menace is here. Let’s get cracking to to start to harvest these fish for food, fertilizer, and fuels besides other uses. Let’s get going before it’s too late. Yes, we can put this menace to good use if we hurry and demonstrate good old American ingenuity before it ruins our fisheries.

    We can save our fisheries if we all can work together.

  • not on tv

    fresh water resources

  • Tom Matych

    We have several native predators for juvenile Asian Carp. Tough to survive a spawn in a crowd (of predators) lets create that!

  • good point

    The only major effort that I know of to use natural predators to take care of asian carp is in Kentucky and Tennessee, where alligator gar are being reintroduced to their natural habitat. Maybe this far north, all we have to do is not put them back in the water after they come out; and there won’t be enough of them to remove all of the plant and animal life from the water, leaving behind a water waste land flowing all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

    • gtV

      @good point
      Interesting comments but let’s put these fish to use as fertilizers, fuels, and food. Food is why they were originally brought to the aquaculture farms in the South. The rest of the world like Europe and Asia do eat carp. Carp if prepared correctly can be a great dinner entre or subsistence dish for consumption. If we can eat eelpot [aka-bourbot] then what’s stopping Americans from eating these carp prepared in many ways? Now that’s food for thought!

  • Please, clean water

    When I was young my pa pa and I would go to the river and catch fish for our family to eat, maybe they were higher in fat content than carp because of the cold waters, but it was good food. When my pa pa fought in WWII, the Germans used the fish oil from fish fat to make explosives. It’s good to know that we’re using it for fuel these days. I don’t think I’d care for the bones, but if I caught an asian carp in unpolluted waters, I might eat it.

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