LA CROSSE, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) alongside neighboring state and federal agencies are conducting an intensive invasive carp removal effort in Pool 8 of the Mississippi River near La Crosse through Oct. 29.
The Wisconsin DNR is working with the Minnesota DNR, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) using the innovative Modified Unified Method (MUM). This is the second time MUM has been used in Wisconsin or Minnesota waters. Thirty-four silver carp were captured in Pool 8 (La Crosse and Vernon Co.) during the first interagency carp removal operation in April.
There will be no impacts to commercial or recreational boat traffic on the main channel of the Mississippi River.
Developed by the USGS, 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.
This process is repeated one cell at a time, gradually reducing the area available to the carp and concentrating the fish into a harvest removal area. A large commercial seine net will then be used to draw out the congregated fish. Native fish do not seem to respond in the same way as the invasive carp, preferring to hide, rather than run, from the sound stimulus.
“This is an effective technique to remove invasive carp from our rivers. 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,” said Christine Goepfert, associate director of the National Parks Conservation Association and co-lead of the Stop Carp Coalition. “We need to use every tool we can to remove invasive carp and minimize opportunities for them to reproduce.”
The DNR and other agencies will report the results when the operation and follow-up analyses are complete.
Invasive carp captures must be reported to the DNR immediately. If you believe you have captured an invasive carp, please put it on ice and send a picture of the carp to Jordan Weeks, DNR Mississippi River Fisheries Biologist, at [email protected]
Learn more about how you can do your part to help prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species.