MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Invasive carp have been caught on the Mississippi River in Minnesota.
The state’s Department of Natural Resources says a bighead carp was captured at the Xcell Energy King Power Plant in Oak Park Heights and silver carp were caught in Pool 4 of the Mississippi River between Red Wing and Wabasha.
“The DNR has confirmed between two and seven individual invasive carp captures each spring since 2013,” said DNR invasive fish coordinator Nick Frohnauer. “It is unusual that several of a single species would be captured in a short span of time. But, given the persistent high water this spring, this is not a surprise.”
State officials say elevated river levels in southern Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois has created conditions where fish can swim upstream over locks and dams. The DNR says while these conditions help native species travel farther in search of suitable conditions, they allow non-native species to move upriver more easily as well.
Invasive carp have been move upstream since escaping into the Mississippi River in the 1970s. The DNR says these large fish compete with native species and pose a threat to rivers and lakes. No breeding populations have been detected in Minnesota waters but individual invasive carp have been caught as far upstream in Mississippi River Pool 2 near the Twin Cities and just downstream of Granite Falls in the Minnesota River.
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