Asian carp: The search is on

Reproducing populations of Mississippi River Asian carp are still believed to be south of Minnesota, according to the DNR. But the agency is nonetheless aggressively searching that river, as well as the St. Croix and Minnesota rivers, for signs that silver, bighead and other foreigners have infiltrated state waters.

So far, only a relative handful of “pioneering’’ Asian carp have been found.

Fisheries managers and technicians are employing hoop nets, gill nets and other means, including electro-fishing, in an attempt to locate possible concentrations of Asian carp in state waters.

DNR regional fisheries manager Brad Parsons told his agency’s round table in Bloomington on Saturday that his specialists have learned a lot about Asian carp and how to catch them from their counterparts in more southern states.

Minnesota researchers also have implanted transmitters in about 100 common carp and other fish to track their movements in the Minnesota, Mississippi and St. Croix rivers.

The tiny gadgets send “pings’’ to receivers that have been dropped into the rivers, allowing their movements to be tracked. Asian carp often travel routes similar to common carp, and the collected data will help researchers pinpoint more specifically where Asian carp might be.