Jeffrey Marr, associate director of engineering and facilities at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, looked over a life-size photo of a bighead carp.
RICHARD SENNOTT, Star Tribune file photo
DNR: Invasive carp found in Mississippi near Cottage Grove
- Associated Press
- July 18, 2014 - 11:04 PM
COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. — Asian carp have been removed from the Mississippi River near Cottage Grove, the northernmost point the invasive fish have ever been found in the river, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Friday.
Commercial fishermen under contract with the DNR netted two adult invasive carp in Pool 2 of the river Thursday, the DNR said.
One was a bighead carp weighing about 40 pounds. The other was a silver carp — known for jumping out of the water when disturbed — that weighed about 20 pounds.
Bighead and silver carp had not been found this far north in the Mississippi River, the DNR said. Until now, bighead carp had not been detected above the mouth of the St. Croix River near Prescott, Wisconsin. Silver carp had not been detective above Pool 5A near Winona.
DNR regional fisheries manager Brad Parsons said the discovery is "disappointing but not entirely unexpected."
While it's unknown how long the fish were in Pool 2, invasive carp migrate upstream during high water conditions, Parsons said. Those conditions existed for many weeks this year, he said.
Parsons said the discovery does not necessarily mean a breeding population of invasive carp exists within Pool 2. But he said both fish were females that contained eggs.
"Invasive carp pose a threat to our native fisheries, water recreation and ecosystems," Parsons said in a news release.
The DNR will continue its intensive carp sampling efforts next week to try to determine if more or smaller invasive carp are in the Grey Cloud Slough area.
Silver and bighead carp can grow to 60 pounds and consume large amounts of plankton that native fish rely on.
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