Thousands of Invasive Carp to Be Removed From Lake Minnetonka Headwaters

September 07, 2018 07:17 PM

A years-long effort to remove invasive carp from the headwaters of Lake Minnetonka began Friday, when fisherman pulled up the first nets set on Steiger Lake in Victoria.

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District laid out the carp management plan after a three-year study from the University of Minnesota's Aquatic Invasive Species revealed an unprecedented number of invasive common carp in the Six Mile Creek system.


The Six Mile Creek system feeds into Halsted Bay on Lake Minnetonka.

Eric Fieldseth, an aquatic ecologist, said the high levels of carp are causing problems in the watershed.

"Carp disrupt ecosystems through their feeding habits," Fieldset explained. "They feed the bottom of the lake, uprooting aquatic plans, stirring up sediment, releasing nutrients."

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Fieldseth said that makes it hard for other species and the ecosystem to thrive.

"We want to maintain that strong native fish population and improve that fish population," Fieldseth said.

Over the next 10 years, the watershed will focus on removing carp from 14 lakes that drain in Lake Minnetonka. Efforts to create carp barriers are also going to be rolled out, as well as other measures that will help improve water quality and wildlife habitat.

On Steiger Lake, fisherman with the company Carp Solutions set four different nets that are scattered along the shoreline.

Jordan Wein, general manager, said he's seen an increase in invasive carp in lakes around the Twin Cities metro.

"They can really dominate the biomass in a lake," Wein said. "You can see that they're ability to repopulate an area is pretty astounding."

Wein and his crew estimates they pulled close to 200 carp from Steiger Lake Friday. The ultimate goal is to remove 1,000.

Wein said they'll reset the nets, lay down corn that the carp feed on, and return for another round in the next few weeks.


Kirsten Swanson

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