New Evidence Of Invasive Carp In Wisconsin

Asian carp distribution map.
Wisconsin DNR

An angler's catch of a bighead carp in the Lower Wisconsin River and traces of silver carp DNA -- the carp known for its jumping behavior -- in the St. Croix River late last month have state officials calling on the federal government to direct funding and attention to aquatic invasive species in the Mississippi River system.

The two Asian carp species, which have been steadily moving upstream, are among a growing list of invasive species threatening Wisconsin waters of the Upper Mississippi River.

"High water levels on the Mississippi River are enabling more Asian carp to move farther into Wisconsin waters," says Bob Wakeman, who coordinates Department of Natural Resources efforts to prevent and control the spread of aquatic invasive species.

"Their presence is not a big surprise because their numbers have grown tremendously in the lower Mississippi and Illinois river systems and stray fish have reached Wisconsin before. But it's a big concern because of the potential damage they can do.

"We need the federal government to recognize the importance of the Mississippi River basin's invasive species problem and give it the attention and funding it deserves."

Wakeman says DNR also needs anglers and boaters for their help in keeping these fish from getting established in the Upper Mississippi, and in the Lower Wisconsin and St. Croix rivers, two of the most pristine rivers in the country.

Anglers and boaters can help by continuing to follow state rules to prevent the spread of invasive species continuing to follow rules.

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