MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Take an invasive carp, implant an electronic tracking tag in it, and monitor its movements in Minnesota waters.
That’s the Department of Natural Resource’s plan to learn more about invasive carp behavior in order to stop their spread in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
“The more we can learn about these species, the more effectively we can continue to monitor their potential impact,” said Nick Frohnauer, the DNR’s invasive fish coordinator, in a news release Thursday.
The plan has already been carried out on one fish.
The DNR says a 37-pound bighead carp was caught Friday in the St. Croix River, fitted with a 4-inch long tracking device and released back into the water.
Invasive fish officials plan to monitor the carp’s movements daily by boat, plotting its precise range, feeding areas and other details. After a period of weeks, the fish will be removed from the water, euthanized and examined.
Another invasive carp will also be captured, tagged and released into the Mississippi River.
These first-ever carp-tagging procedures in Minnesota had to be approved by lawmakers, as they involve releasing an invasive species back into critical waters.
Anyone else who catches an invasive carp in the state is required to report it to the DNR.
Invasive carp have been a problem in Minnesota for nearly 20 years. The fish got into the Mississippi River in the 1970s, when they escaped southern fish farms where they were used to clean up algae.