Dramatic Step to Stop Spread of 'Invasive' Carp in Minnesota Rivers

Updated: 05/27/2014 6:34 PM
Created: 05/27/2014 6:05 PM
By: Tom Hauser

Invasive Carp are a growing threat to Minnesota's treasured rivers and lakes. So the pending closure of the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock is a drastic step to stop a dramatic problem. 

"In several areas of rivers and lakes that carp is now 90 percent of the biomass in their lake and rivers because it has such an enormous capacity to eat other fish and get larger and larger," says Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota).

Klobuchar and Congressman Keith Ellison were among several public officials applauding legislation on its way to President Obama that will close the St. Anthony Falls Lock within a year.

"By closing this lock I think that we are taking a step forward in being good stewards of this river and this land we are blessed to live in," Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) said at a news conference alongside the Mississippi River.

The plan is to close the lock in an effort to keep the invasive carp, also known as Asian carp, from making it northward toward Lake Mille Lacs, the Brainerd lakes area and other popular tourist destinations that are fed by the Mississippi River.

DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr applauded the legislation, but acknowledged it might just be a stop-gap measure and doesn't do anything to protect the Minnesota and St. Croix Rivers.

"The closure buys us some time. We still have challenges ahead of us. The St. Croix River is still unprotected; the Minnesota river is still unprotected. We don't have a readymade option like we do here," said Landwehr.

No everyone is pleased with the closure. It could cost about 70 jobs and commercial boating groups say it will hurt their business. There is also still the question on what will be done to help the St. Croix and Minnesota Rivers.

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