Minnesotans are understandably concerned about Asian carp spreading to inland lakes, as they continue their migration up the Mississippi River.
A coalition of angling, conservation, and environmental groups recently sent a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton encouraging him to aggressively address this threat. Here’s an excerpt:
We strongly encourage you to develop and implement strong and immediate actions designed to stop Asian carp from advancing northward in Minnesota.As you know, Asian carp are known to batter boaters and even knock them into the water at the sound of a passing motor. They are voracious filter feeders that can grow to more than 4 feet long, weigh up to 100 pounds and quickly dominate a body of water by gobbling up the same food that sustains native fish populations. As these jumping, jumbo-sized fish travel up the Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix Rivers northward into Minnesota’s waters, we are in an emergency situation and immediate actions are necessary.
In early December, the locks on the Upper Mississippi River closed for the winter months. This routine winter closure provides a clear opportunity to stop Asian carp from advancing further north into Minnesota’s waters. We strongly recommend that you capitalize on this winter closing by developing and implementing effective plans to block Asian carp at Lock and Dam Nos. 1, 2 and Upper St. Anthony Falls before the 2012 navigation season commences. In addition, we urge you to support reducing lock use combined with deterrent technologies that would reduce the risk of Asian carp spreading further north.
I’m hopeful that Minnesota and Gov. Dayton will deal with this threat in a realistic way, setting an example for our federal Carp Czar and his lethargic bureaucracy, which seems determined to keep “studying” the issue until Asian carp are firmly entrenched in the Great Lakes.