By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Cities across the metro are concerned that invasive fish species, like carp, are taking over lakes and ponds.

A special project in Robbinsdale on Friday morning aimed to bring balance back to Crystal Lake.

It’s the third time the city has done this type of removal, partnering with an energy company called WSP with the goal of taking out as many carp from Crystal Lake as possible.

“We are here to simply remove as many carp as we can,” said Jordan Wein of WSP and Associates. WSP is no stranger to removing invasive fish from Minnesota lakes. Earlier this summer they used electroshocking to pull goldfish out of some Chaska lakes.

On Friday morning the method was different but the goal was the same. Using corn as bait, they lured the carp into box nets and then quietly pulled the nets.

By midday, a thousand carp were removed from Crystal Lake. Combined with the other two times they’ve done this, about 3,500 carp in all have been taken out of the lake.

As they are removed, WSP is hoping other fish come back. Carp are bottom feeders and they uproot aquatic plants driving out native fish. They also stir up phosphorous, which leads to algae blooms.

“As they take over, they make it a not-good place for native fish to live and a great place for carp to live,” said Wien. “The result is a lake full of carp, not many native fish, not much habitat for good fish.”

It is believed these carp washed into Crystal Lake from another body of water. Some have been here for nearly 10 years. They’ll be taken to an organic composting site and turned into fertilizer. The city’s goal isn’t to remove all the carp, but rather to give other fish a fighting chance.

“It’s definitely a widespread issue. They say if there is a drop of water, carp will move through it. They are really good at finding water bodies,” said Marta Roser, with the city of Robbinsdale.

It is estimated that about 40% of invasive carp have now been removed from Crystal Lake.

John Lauritsen