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"We think it's a world-class study, and we feel very fortunate to have these folks doing this world-class study on our lake."
The west-suburban Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District has promised to provide $2.7 million for the project from 2008 through 2017.
The significant investment reflects the district's belief in the importance of the project to the west suburban lakes and to the state, said board Vice Chair Ken Wencl of Chanhassen. "This has never been done before and it's a very important thing."
Carp do so much damage that until they are under control, there is no way to improve the water quality, reduce the weeds and stop soil erosion, Wencl said.
No one expects the carp to disappear completely, said Watershed District coordinator Paul Haik. "You will never eliminate the carp. The question is how can you manage the carp at a level that will allow fishing, boating and wakeboarding."
Within three years, district officials expect to start seeing clearer water, a greater percentage of game fish and positive changes in plant life.
By the end of the study, Sorensen hopes to leave the lakes with low carp numbers and be able to hand the Watershed District a manual for keeping them that way.
"I think we are smarter than carp, and I think we can figure this out," Sorensen said.
Laurie Blake 612-673-1711