There was something fishy at the Legislature on Wednesday.
Among the suited-up lawmakers and lobbyists, one figure stood out: Angler Rick Carlson, lugging a bloody, smelly bag that held the rapidly thawing carcass of a Bighead Asian Carp.
A message from the mob? Was someone sleeping with the fishes?
No, just fishing enthusiasts concerned about the growing threat of invasive species in their rivers.
What better way to illustrate the problem than by bringing one of those invaders with them to the Legislature?
Groups like Anglers for Habitat and the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Coalition are urging the state to take steps – up to and including installing electrified fences in the river and developing “death pills” that would kill Asian carp species – before the invasion spreads.
The anglers, Carson and Lance Ness, opened up their bag, which, they assured Hot Dish, could also hold 50 beaver pelts, and gave the Capitol press corps an up-close look at (and smell of) the juvenile carp. Then they headed out to do the same with lawmakers. They said Gov. Mark Dayton declined to meet with their carp. The governor's office says they have no record of carp or anglers seeking entry on Wednesday.
They also said they were surprised that they could walk all over the Capitol and into the governor’s office with a big dead fish in a blood-speckled bag, without triggering some sort of security alert.