(La Crosse, WI) – The latest fishing trip on the Mississippi River is not for trophies or dinner, it’s to keep the river clear of invasive carp.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday said teams are working on the river near La Crosse to try and keep the carp from moving any further upriver.
“These fish continue to threaten Minnesota and Wisconsin waterways, including those that flow through two national parks – the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area and the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway,” Christine Goepfert, associate director of the National Parks Conservation Association and co-lead of the Stop Carp Coalition, said in a statement. “We need to use every tool we can to remove invasive carp and minimize opportunities for them to reproduce.”
The invasive carp, known for years as Asian Carp, are non-native fish that can throw off the balance in local rivers and lakes. Mississippi River states have been trying to fish them out of existence or into manageable numbers for years.
This week’s fishing trip will use both electric shocks and loud noises to catch the fish.
“The Wisconsin DNR is working with the Minnesota DNR, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service using the innovative Modified Unified Method,” DNR said. “The MUM method uses block nets to create compartments or ‘cells.’ The USGS then uses electrofishing boats and boats outfitted with underwater speakers to herd carp from each cell. When a cell is cleared, another net is used to close the cell and prevent the fish from returning.”
The idea is to drive the carp into ever smaller ‘cells’ so they can be collected.
DNR says they collected 34 carp during their last fishing trip back in April. There’s no guesstimate about what this trip will yield.
Wildlife managers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and all other Great Lakes states are ready to spend billions of dollars to keep invasive carp out of the lakes. So far, their efforts have worked.