DNR uses shock method to search for silver carp

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 19, 2011 - 2:50 AM

A DNR fisheries crew on the St. Croix River employed shocking techniques to briefly stun fish and float them to the surface on Tuesday morning near Taylors Falls. The DNR was looking for silver carp, one of four invasive Asian carp species.

Photo: Dennis Anderson, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

ON THE ST. CROIX RIVER - Possibly be-sieged by another aquatic critter that threatens untold destruction, the Department of Natural Resources on Monday and Tuesday dispatched fisheries crews here to set nets and send shock waves into the water in search of the latest targeted invasive species: the silver carp.

None was found.

The DNR announced last week special water tests conducted in June designed to detect traces of Asian carp indicated the possibility that silver carp -- the one whose Illinois River aerial acrobatics have won thousands of YouTube hits -- are in the St. Croix River.

Of 50 water samples checked approximately between Taylors Falls downstream a few miles to Franconia, 22 "environmental DNA" positives were returned, a rate high even by standards of the heavily infested Illinois.

The tests don't confirm the carp's presence, and the DNR's efforts at electrofishing and netting represent a first attempt to see if one or more silver carp can be put in hand.

In coming weeks, commercial fishermen under contract to the DNR also will string nets across the St. Croix.

"The commercial fishermen will probably have a better chance to catch one, if there's one in the river," said Jerry Johnson, DNR area fisheries supervisor for the east metro.

No silver carp have ever been caught in the St. Croix. A bighead carp -- one of three other unwanted fish of the Asian variety, along with the grass and black carp -- was netted by a commercial fisherman earlier this year in the St. Croix near Prescott, Wis.

Tuesday's effort was led by DNR large rivers fisheries specialist Joel Stiras. He's one of two agency workers who traveled to Illinois recently to watch fisheries experts corral silver carp using electrofishing and netting -- the same techniques employed on the St. Croix.

Two boats were used Tuesday. Stiras piloted one, an electro-shocking craft, as two helpers in the bow with long-handled nets retrieved and inspected stunned fish. Another three-man DNR crew set gill nets.

The nets had relatively large mesh sizes, 4, 5 and 6 inches, and Stiras and his crew attempted to steer fish toward them.

Asian carp reproduce rapidly and can quickly change a river's ecosystem, out-competing game fish for food and also putting water birds at risk.

DNR crews will return to the St. Croix daily at least through Friday.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.


Fla Southern 2 FINAL
Detroit 12
Miami 7
Toronto 114 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Golden State 108 FINAL
Brooklyn 110
Phoenix 98 FINAL
Miami 115
LA Clippers 110 FINAL
Minnesota 105
New Orleans 93 FINAL
Dallas 102
Nashville 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Carolina 2 FINAL
Chicago 5
Montreal 0 FINAL
San Jose 4
Virginia 59 FINAL
Syracuse 47
Baylor 59 FINAL
Texas 61
SE Louisiana 79 FINAL
Northwestern St 92
Central Arkansas 49 FINAL
Sam Houston St 76
Norfolk State 59 FINAL
Howard 61
Bethune-Cookman 50 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 75 FINAL
Delaware State 85
Lamar 69 FINAL
McNeese State 70
Nicholls 89 FINAL
New Orleans 79
Incarnate Word 62 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 83
NC Central 62 FINAL
Savannah State 49
Texas Southern 77 FINAL
Alabama A&M 75
Prairie View 67 FINAL
Alabama State 65
Oklahoma 70 FINAL
Iowa State 77
Grambling St 62 FINAL
Miss Valley St 66
Boston College 66 FINAL
Virginia Tech 59
Jackson State 62 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 64
Bethune-Cookman 55 FINAL
NC A&T 58
Hampton 78 FINAL
Delaware State 63
Norfolk State 63 FINAL
Howard 60
NC Central 54 FINAL
Savannah State 65
Texas Southern 83 FINAL
Alabama A&M 46
Prairie View 42 FINAL
Alabama State 60
Jackson State 78 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 74
Grambling 56 FINAL
Miss Valley St 61
Tulsa 71 FINAL
Cincinnati 58
(1) Connecticut 88 FINAL
South Florida 65
East Carolina 67
Central Conn St 53 FINAL
Bryant 55
Wagner 66 FINAL
Robert Morris 60
Sacred Heart 75 FINAL
Fairleigh Dickinson 84
St Francis-NY 73 FINAL
Long Island 49
Mount St Marys 87 FINAL
St Francis-PA 90
Temple 56 FINAL
Houston 45
Texas Tech 65 FINAL
(6) Baylor 75
Iowa State 64 FINAL
Kansas 68
Memphis 53
Oklahoma 66 FINAL
Oklahoma St 56
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question