Newspaper article

Confronting the Carp Conundrum on the St. Croix

Newspaper article

Confronting the Carp Conundrum on the St. Croix

Article excerpt

People keep catching bighead carp in the St. Croix River. After the news this summer that a number of the invasive fish, which could decimate the river's ecology, have been caught in Bayport, more reports continue to come in.

At the same time, action is happening elsewhere to protect precious waters from the fish. In June on the Mississippi River, the St. Anthony Falls lock and dam in Minneapolis was permanently closed, shutting down the city's shipping industry in an effort to block carp from getting farther upstream.

The lock closure doesn't do anything to help the St. Croix, but does point to a path for protecting the river.

The St. Anthony lock was closed because of efforts by boaters, anglers, environmentalists, and the U.S. Congress. Faced with the threat of invasive carp, an action plan was developed by Mississippi River users and advocates. Closing the lock was highlighted as an important tactic in that plan.

A similar proposal to protect the St. Croix is now in the works. The St. Croix River Association is currently seeking public input on a strategic plan to "prevent, contain, and control" invasive species in the river and the waters that are connected to it. View the draft plan here. The first opportunity to weigh in is this Thursday, July 9th (keep reading for details).

"The St. Croix River Basin is at risk of being deeply and negatively impacted by a suite of harmful AIS, due to both its physical connection with the Mississippi River; its proximity to the St. Paul - Minneapolis lakes, Lake Mille Lacs, and Lake Superior, all of which have a variety of AIS; and its status as a regional recreational destination," the plan reads.

The draft plan was developed by SCRA and numerous organizations with a stake in the river, including the National Park Service, Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources, St. Croix Watershed Research Station, representatives from counties and watershed districts, members of lake associations, and others. …

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