Asian carp

Four Silver Carp Fitted With Tracking Devices On Mississippi River

As part of efforts to prevent the spread of invasive carp, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced October 22 that four silver carp were recently captured, fitted with tracking devices and released in Pool 8 of the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wis.

A commercial fishing operation contracted by the Minnesota DNR captured the invasive carp. Contract commercial netting operations will continue this fall while river conditions permit.

The netting operation came in response to captures of invasive carp in Pool 8 during spring carp surveillance. The DNR is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Wisconsin DNR and commercial fishing operators to conduct large-scale netting, studies of the captured carp and increased monitoring.

While individual invasive carp have been previously tagged and tracked in Minnesota and Wisconsin waters of the Mississippi, this is the first time that more than one has been tagged in a single operation. No breeding populations have been detected in Minnesota waters to date. Individual invasive carp have been caught as far upstream as Pool 2 of the Mississippi, near the Twin Cities (bighead, grass and silver), the King Power Plant on the St. Croix River by Oak Park Heights (bighead), and just downstream of Granite Falls in the Minnesota River (bighead).

Prior to last spring, according to the Minnesota DNR, all of the carp captured in Minnesota had been single fish or small numbers of fish. Higher numbers earlier this year likely were related to prolonged high-water conditions during the summer of 2019.

During high water, gates at the locks and dams on the river remain open to allow flood waters to pass. These “open river” conditions allow easier upstream movement of fish from downstream portions of the river. Since then, water levels have receded, reducing the opportunity for invasive carp to move through locks and dams and proceed upriver.