Asian carp

Minnesota Releases 10-Year Carp Plan

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released its updated Invasive Carp Action Plan on January 18 for the next 10 years of prevention and management efforts in Minnesota. The announcement closely followed the biggest-ever capture of invasive carp in early December in Pool 6 of the Mississippi River near Trempeleau, Wis., across the river from Minnesota, when 410 fish were taken.

The original version of this plan was developed with a working group in 2011. The plan was previously updated in 2014. Grass carp were first captured in Minnesota in 1977, bighead carp in 1996 and silver carp in 2008. The first captures were of individual fish, and captures numbered less than 10 individuals a year before 2018. As of 2023, the furthest upstream detections of invasive bighead, grass and silver carp are in Pool 2 of the Mississippi River near Hastings, the lower St. Croix River near Stillwater and below the Granite Falls Dam on the Minnesota River.

The newly updated plan includes a prioritized set of recommended actions that build upon the DNR’s current invasive carp efforts, including:

• Monitoring invasive carp populations movement to support response actions, including stepped-up tagging and tracking.

• Expanding receiver array coverage in Pools 5A-8 to improve detection of tagged fish. Coverage by the current array is incomplete, and these pools are currently the most important locations for removal efforts in Minnesota. More complete coverage would improve DNR’s ability to detect tagged fish and provide finer scale data on their location. In 2023, the DNR applied for federal assistance to install and maintain up to 30 additional receivers in Pools 5A-8 with assistance from partner organizations.

• Prevention and deterrence to limit migration in the state.

• Response preparation to ensure swift actions if invasive carp are found in new locations.

• Using the data to increase carp harvests by commercial fishers.

The update was informed by a planning process that included more than a dozen agencies and organizations involved in preventing the spread of invasive carp.