DNR to lead innovative search to remove invasive carp

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will lead an intense, innovative invasive carp removal effort starting next month.

The DNR said the effort will be focused in Pool 8 of the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wis. and will use the Modified Unified Method (MUM) for the first time in the state. MUM combines netting and herding techniques to drive and concentrate invasive carp into a small zone for removal. The DNR said it’ll be the first time it has been used anywhere as an early detection and rapid response technique.

The MUM exercise was designed to respond to the capture of 39 silver carp and 12 grass carp in Pool 8 in March 2020. In 2021, there have been eight other invasive carp captured in or near Pool 8.

The goal is to remove invasive carp present in Pool 8, curb the potential for invasive carp reproduction, and prevent their establishment in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. The operation will also yield more detailed information about any current invasive carp presence in Pool 8.

The effort, which will start April 5, is being conducted in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

According to the DNR, the removal efforts will last for seven to 10 days. That area of the Mississippi River will be closed for one to three days and temporarily suspending commercial fishing and recreational use. However, the process will pause on the weekends due to higher weekend boat traffic.