Minnesota DNR, partners haul in a record number of invasive carp

An invasive silver carp was caught in the St. Croix River near Prescott, Wisconsin this spring. (Photo credit: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced their largest capture of invasive carp with 323 fish caught near Trempealeau, Wisconsin on Thursday. 

The invasive carp were caught in Pool 6 on the Mississippi River by contracted commercial fishers. 

"Tagging and tracking of invasive carp by the DNR and its partners is working and leading to the successful removal of fish in Minnesota," DNR Invasive Carp Coordinator Grace Loppnow said in a release. "Wisconsin DNR crews located six tagged invasive carp in Pool 6 last week. Those detections, along with observations by our contracted commercial fisher, led to the successful removal of these invasive carp."

The DNR said that they will continue to track and catch as many fish as they can as long as river conditions allow it. 

"While it is certainly concerning that we have captured this large number of invasive carp in Pool 6, it is likely that these adult fish moved upstream from other locations and were not the result of reproduction in Minnesota waters. DNR will continue to evaluate the data and work with its partners to learn everything we can, while we also work to remove additional fish," Loppnow said.

The DNR says their data shows the invasive carp moving into the Mississippi during the 2023 spring flooding. They believe the high water conditions allowed them to move upstream past open dams. 

Invasive carp were introduced to the Mississippi in the 1970s. They can be a danger to boaters and crowd out native fish.