In the St. Croix river, 25 miles west of Minneapolis, Minnesota, five bighead carp have been caught. These bighead carp have been arousing fear because they are what ecology calls invasive species. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) continues to check for more of these invasive fish species. Ecological hazards from fish seems to be a trend recently as Australia faces similar issue with new aggressive perch fish species.
The Bighead Carp and Its Other Asian Relatives
The invasive carp found is comprised of two of the four species of invasive carp known as Asian carp. This particular carp, the bighead carp was last found 7 miles south. Growing up to 60 lbs (27 kg), they are a danger to the Mississippi River’s ecosystem. Filter-feeders, they do this in their consumption of amounts of plankton so large that they don’t really seem to “save some for the [native] fishes” as the expression goes…
The beginnings of Asian carp in the U.S. stems from a demand for weed control and parasite growth control in the 1970s. Asian carp like the bighead carp were brought to aquatic farms from Asia. They were brought in to keep a pond clean but somehow managed to get into the Mississippi River, and are now traveling northward, wreaking ecological havoc as they go. A large fear is that these carp might get into the nearby Great Lakes, a sensitive area for them to affect, as it possesses a $7 billion per annum fishing industry.
Saving The Ecosystem in Minnesota
In ecological issues involving invasive species, it absolutely helps the DNR receiving word from fishermen and fisherwomen on captures of Asian carp. Any information helps. Being informed about invasive species allows the DNR to act fast, start sampling waters, as well as set up nets and take measures to assess and remedy the situation. If any in the fishing and angling community has any information about bighead, silver, black, or grass carp, the DNR asks that they immediately contact the DNR at (888) 646-6367 or [email protected].