The following letter was recently sent to Governor Mark Dayton by a Coalition of Leaders, Directors, Members, Anglers and Conservationists, Outdoors and Environmental groups. We ask that you join us in calling for State and Federal action.
Governor Mark Dayton
130 State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
St. Paul, MN 55155
Dear Governor Dayton:
On behalf of the undersigned organizations and our hundreds of thousands of members and supporters in Minnesota and nationwide, we thank you for your continued leadership in addressing the threat of Asian carp. We strongly encourage you to develop and implement strong and immediate actions designed to stop Asian carp from advancing northward in Minnesota.
As you know, Asian carp are known to batter boaters and even knock them into the water at the sound of a passing motor. They are voracious filter feeders that can grow to more than 4 feet long, weigh up to 100 pounds and quickly dominate a body of water by gobbling up the same food that sustains native fish populations. As these jumping, jumbo-sized fish travel up the Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix Rivers northward into Minnesota’s waters, we are in an emergency situation and immediate actions are necessary.
In early December, the locks on the Upper Mississippi River closed for the winter months. This routine winter closure provides a clear opportunity to stop Asian carp from advancing further north into Minnesota’s waters. We strongly recommend that you capitalize on this winter closing by developing and implementing effective plans to block Asian carp at Lock and Dam Nos. 1, 2 and Upper St. Anthony Falls before the 2012 navigation season commences. In addition, we urge you to support reducing lock use combined with deterrent technologies that would reduce the risk of Asian carp spreading further north.
Specifically, our coalition recommends:
1) Stop the spread of Asian carp upstream from Lock #1
a. Immediately install deterrent technologies and combine with modified lock operations before 2012 navigation season commences;
b. Secure Congressional authorization and direction for the emergency, temporary closure of Lock #1 and the Upper St. Anthony Locks by September 2012;
c. Restore the historic permanent fish barrier at the St. Anthony Falls Upper Lock by September 2014.
2) Slow Asian carp passage above Lock #19 at Keokuk, Iowa
a. Convene a multi-state task force to coordinate a regional and federal response to the spread of Asian carp and other aquatic invasive species in the Upper Midwest by February 2012;
b. Install deterrent technologies at Lock #19 and combine with modified lock operations before 2012 navigation season commences;
c. Install redundant deterrents at strategic locations in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin by October 2012.
3) Control established Asian carp populations upstream of Lock #19
a. Continue to monitor for Asian carp eDNA and live fish in the Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix Rivers;
b. Research and implement safe methods for eradication Asian carp from Minnesota’s water (identify recommended strategies by April 2012).
We strongly believe now is the time to act. Minnesota sportsmen and women and private property owners need your support. You are our champion for protecting Minnesota’s vast wildlife resources and quality of life. But without immediate efforts to stop Asian carp, Minnesota could lose its multi-billion dollar statewide annual fishing, water recreation, and tourism industries - which make our state so unique – and see two of our water-based national park units threatened. We ask you to use your leadership to support the actions outlined above to stop Asian carp from jeopardizing Minnesota’s waters. Our combined thousands of members and supporters, as well as the entire sportsmen and women conservation community and private property owners in Minnesota depends on your leadership to lead the way in taking immediate action on Asian carp.
We look forward to working with you and respectfully request a meeting to discuss these issues with you in more detail as soon as possible. Thank you in advance for your consideration of our recommendations.
Leaders, Directors, Members, Anglers, of the following organizations.
Minnesota Conservation Federation, Minnesota Seasonal Recreational Property Owners, Minnesota Trout Unlimited, Minnesota Division of Izaak Walton League, Minnesota Coalition of Lake Associations, Mississippi River Fund, Minnesota Waters, National Parks Conservation Association, National Wildlife Federation, New Ulm Area Sport Fisherman, Anglers for Habitat, Audubon Minnesota, Fish & Wildlife Legislative Alliance, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy