The Coon Rapids Dam near Fridley is the farthest north that scientists have found DNA evidence of invasive Asian carp in Minnesota.
Now the real thing—including silver carp that leap out of water—are within 120 miles of Fridley, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Monday.
The DNR confirmed reports that fishermen near Winona, MN, last week caught a bighead carp and a silver carp.
“We hope this galvanizes meaningful action to slow down the upriver movement of Asian carp while we figure out ways to control and deal with their impacts,” said Paul Labovitz, superintendent of the National Park Service's Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, in a statement from the DNR. (Labovitz is a resident of Fridley.)
Experts continue to warn of dire consequences if Asian carp species spread in Minnesota waters.
“A silver carp discovery this far upstream is discouraging, but not surprising,” said Tim Schlagenhaft of the DNR’s Mississippi River Team at Lake City in the DNR statement. “This is further evidence that Asian carp continue to move upstream in the Mississippi River.”
The fishermen's haul came a day before publication of an opinion column by Gov. Mark Dayton in Outdoor News calling on the Minnesota Legislature to fund a new fish barrier at the Coon Rapids Dam.
Dayton led an Asian Carp Summit at the Minnesota Capitol in December, where leaders expressed frustration at bureaucratic delays and a lack of reliable weapons in the fight to stop the Asian carp