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MCWD: Barriers going up to halt carp from traveling upstream

March 13, 2019 07:02 AM

On a dreary, rainy day, construction workers are mending fences and building a carp barrier in Halsted Bay. The barricade will prevent invasive carp from moving between Halsted Bay and the 14-lake system upstream.

"It will have grates that can be raised and lowered so we can allow other fish species to pass. But we're primarily targeting the movement of common carp," Anna Brown with the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) said.

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The district started to evaluate carp in 2014. They teamed with the University of Minnesota to understand how many carp were in the system, where they were moving, where they were reproducing and what their winter behavior looked like.

RELATED: Minnesota DNR invasive fish barrier nears completion

"So that we could develop a management strategy that wouldn't just remove them from the system but that would make sure they couldn't continue to thrive," Brown said.

The U of M's assessment of the region's carp population from 2014 to 2016 estimated 130,500 carp are in the system of 14 lakes.

The district came up with a three-pronged attack. Carp barriers upstream from Halsted Bay, at the outlet of Wassermann Lake, and one located on Crown College's campus is the first line of defense. They're also aerating these selected lakes to maintain oxygen levels in the water, helping bluegill sunfish survive the winter so they can feed on carp eggs in the spring.

RELATED: Thousands of invasive carp to be removed from Lake Minnetonka headwaters

Plus, the district will also be removing carp from selected lakes.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article included "DNR" in the headline. The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District is overseeing the project. The copy has been corrected.

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Todd Wilson

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