Carp invasion in the Mississippi River

Local News

Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Multiple state agencies are collaborating to remove invasive species from the Mississippi River. For the second time this year, a portion of the Mississippi river is being cleared of invasive carp.

Pool eight of the Mississippi is found on the south end of La Crosse…an area that has experienced issues with invasive species in recent years.

“Two springs ago, in March, a commercial angler captured almost fifty invasive carp, and that kind of prompted us and said hey, there’s probably more here than we ever thought.”

Invasive carp can take up the food source of a habitat, which affects the area’s natural wildlife.

To make matters worse, Hallie Rasmussen with the upper Mississippi wildlife refuge says it’s difficult for wildlife to push the invasive species out.

“They survive and they reproduce, and they don’t have a natural predator that’s keeping their population in check, so they’re hard to control because there isn’t really anything in their natural environment that’s controlling them.” Said Rasmussen.

That’s why external efforts are needed.

Jordan weeks with the Wisconsin DNR says it’s difficult to know how much carp is in the pool, but the key is to remove as many as possible before the population explodes.

Weeks says, “Historically, in many places that invasive carp have inhabited, there hasn’t been a whole lot that can be done once they get established, so we’re trying to get on the front end of this and slow them down before they can get going.”

It’s a collaborative effort to reduce the carp threat from the waters of Wisconsin.

“The Mississippi River runs through multiple states, and there are multiple agencies that manage it, so working together and partnering on these sort of efforts is the most important thing to do so that we’re able to all come to that common goal of conserving and preserving the resource.”

34 silver carp were captured in pool eight during the first removal in April, and results on the October operation will be reported later.

The state of Wisconsin banned the sale, transport, and possession of bighead, black, and silver carp.

Invasive carp captures are required to be reported to the Wisconsin DNR immediately. 

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