A new federal study backs up earlier doubts about whether Asian-carp DNA found in the Mississippi River near the Coon Rapids Dam really means the live invaders are in Mendota and Inver Grove Heights waters—yet.
See the study for yourself: Click on the PDF thumbnails for fact sheet, summary and full report. Or visit AsianCarp.us.
Tim Schlagenhaft, Mississippi River manager for the DNR, told Patch after teams found Asian Carp DNA in the Mississippi River near the Coon Rapids Dam that there could be explanations other than fish migration for the presence of DNA from Asian carp mucous and excrement. Birds or boats could be transporting the fish, Schlagenhaft said.
The new research out of Chicago-area waterways from the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee suggests bird excrement and boat hulls are indeed likely suspects for how invasive fish DNA could show up in local waters with the invasive fish themselves being here.
Birds "can contaminate barges and boats with that digested meal of Asian carp via their feces," Kelly Baerwahlt, a fisheries biologist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on a telephone conference with reporters Tuesday.
But that may be cold comfort for Minnesotans wary of an impeding invasion by Asian carp. At last week's Minnesota Asian Carp Summit, experts said it's probably too late for barriers and locks and dams to stop their upstream migration. Asian carp tend to take over ecosystems of rivers and lakes, leaving little food for native species.
- Asian Carp DNA Found in Mississippi River at Coon Rapids Dam