FRONTENAC, Minn. (WCCO) — A 47-pound bighead carp, a member of the invasive Asian carp family, has been caught in Lake Pepin near Frontenac, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
A commercial fisherman, Myles Rolbiecki, caught the fish on Nov. 16. While other bighead carp have been found in Lake Pepin and the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers, it is the largest individual carp caught to date.
“This recent find is not surprising, as bighead carp were also found in Lake Pepin in 2003 and 2007,” said Tim Schlagenhaft of the DNR’s Mississippi River team at Lake City. “It adds more evidence that Asian carp continue to work their way up the Mississippi River.”
The Asian carp is a nonnative species that can cause serious ecological problems as they spread to new waters.
According to the DNR, bighead carp can weigh up to 110 pounds and silver carp up to 60 pounds. They are voracious eaters capable of consuming 5 to 20 percent of their body weight each day, feeding on algae and other microscopic organisms, often noncompeting native fish for food.
Experts believe Asian carp could severely disrupt the ecosystems of Minnesota waters. For more information on Asian carp, click here.