Letters To The Editor

Letter: Funding Carp Deterrents

The state of Minnesota is getting pressure from groups interested in deterring the movement of invasive carp up the Mississippi River to Minnesota waters.

Up until now, the one major action that happened was the closure of the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam in 2015. This did little to help the balance of the state waters, especially the Upper Miss in Minnesota. A sound deterrent was put in place in Lock 8 by the University of Minnesota, funded by the Minnesota legislature, but not enough funds were appropriated to collect data to see if it worked.

Now, 10 years later, the capture of a sizable number of these carp in the Winona/LaCrosse waters has stirred groups to petition for Minnesota state funds for deterrents at Lock and Dam 5, both in the lock and adjusting flows by dam gate manipulation.

Our contention is that, seeing as the EPA helped facilitate bringing the carp to the U.S. for smaller communities needing to clean up their sewage ponds, and seeing as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assisted in marketing them to fish farms as early as 1963, the federal government has responsibility to the Upper Mississippi and Minnesota waters.

Examples of federal funding in other states would be the electrical barrier in Romeoville on the Illinois River to the tune of tens of millions of dollars in installation, maintenance and replacement, and the proposed $1.1 billion Brandon Road Lock deterrent where the Corps of Engineers will be on the hook for 65 percent. Additionally, temporary test deterrents were placed in Lock 19 at Keokuk, Iowa, and Barkley Lock in Kentucky. Both projects were funded by the federal EPA, U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Corps of Engineers. Supported by Sen. McConnell, Kentucky will receive another $40 million in federal funding this year.

We need the federal government to take more action than testing and studying. All our rivers need the federal government helping in installation and maintenance of multiple deterrents.

Greg Genz

President, Friends of Pool 2

Newport on the River, Minn.