Experts Share Ideas for Controlling Aquatic Invasive Species at U of M Showcase

September 12, 2018 06:56 PM

Controlling and detecting aquatic invasive species is a big deal in Minnesota. In fact, the legislature has allocated $10 million a year to do just that. 

At the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research and Management Showcase on the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus, experts from all over the country are sharing ideas. Property owners are learning how to protect their lakes. One demonstration outside showed how difficult it is to accurately count zebra mussels in a lake.


Nick Phelps is executive director of the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center.

RELATED: Thousands of Invasive Carp to Be Removed From Lake Minnetonka Headwaters

"It's incredibly important to communicate the value and the process of research here on campus so we can eventually translate that back out to the field, working directly with our stakeholders," he said.

One of the more interesting research projects is a one-of-a-kind fish raceway tank. It's so big they had to construct the building around it. It shows what's being done to stop invasive fish, like bighead carp, at locks and dams using sound lights and bubbles. 

"So what we've found is pulse sound has been roughly 80 percent effective at blocking and actually deterring fish away from these speaker systems in a laboratory study," said Clark Dennis, MAISRC Ph.D. student. "But more importantly, is when you couple these sounds with an air curtain we can get upwards of 98 percent effectiveness in blocking these invasive species with less impacts on largemouth bass and native fish here in Minnesota."

The hope is that by sharing information Minnesota can prevent the spread aquatic invasive species that are already here and detect them earlier.


Kevin Doran

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