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Working to protect the Mississippi River and its watershed in the Twin Cities area
Photo: Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee
Asian carp and the scramble to stop them are progressing on several fronts.
First the bad news: Another bighead carp (one of the four invasive Asian carp species) was found in the St. Croix River last month. Two others have been caught in the St. Croix before, one in 1998, and one in 2011. This catch came fairly quickly on the heels of the recent catch of a silver and a bighead carp near Winona earlier this spring. At this point the alarm bells are deafening: now is the time to act if we have any hope of preserving Minnesota's fishing economy and culture.
Luckily, there is some good news in the fight against this invasive species. The Minnesota Legislature approved $3.8 million for an aquatic invasive species research center at the University of Minnesota to study prevention of Asian carp, zebra mussels and other invasives, plus another $7.5 million to install electric or bubble barriers within one or more of the lock chambers to slow the invasive species’ upstream spread.
"Funding for research and barrier technology are important steps to slow the movement of Asian Carp into Minnesota's waters," said FMR Executive Director Whitney Clark. "But if we hope to prevent an all-out invasion, we will need to take more drastic measures, such as closing the locks in Minneapolis."
Lock closure requires an act of Congress; Senator Klobuchar and Representative Ellison introduced a bill authorizing such action. You can track the bill or voice your support it on govtrack.us.
Stay tuned to FMR.org for updated information and more steps you can take to help stop Asian carp!