(Mirror Daily, United States) – A bighead carp was captured in the Minnesota River last week, somewhere near New Ulm. The carp’s presence is a confirmation of the aggressive fish invasion into the waterways of the state.
According to the official statement of the Natural Resources Department, the bighead carp was captured in the Minnesota River by a commercial fisherman. The male fish weighed roughly 25 pounds and it is the second invasive carp species confirmed in the river. In December last year, a grass carp was also caught in the Minnesota River.
Nick Frohnauer, the Natural Resources Department coordinator of invasive fish declared that they were suspecting an occasional incursion of the bighead carp into the Minnesota River. This is the first specimen that is caught, and it’s also the first specimen to confirm the department’s suspicions. The invading fish originate from the Mississippi River.
According to Frohnauer’s declaration, there is still no evidence that the bighead carp established some sort of population in the Minnesota River or that it managed to reproduce in the local waters. But he did say that the Natural Resources Department is concerned about the impact that the invasive carp species could have on the local waters. To this end, the department started a collaboration with different partners from around the state.
The State University of Minnesota is evaluating the river for a potential introduction of barriers that will prevent the spread of the invasive Asian carp. The evaluation included a detailed analysis of floodplain and habitat suitability. The final report is due to the Natural Resources Department in 2017.
Ever since the 1970s when the bighead carp escaped into the Mississippi River, the fish population has considerably grown and now they are spreading to new areas.
The Chinese invasive carp species is best known for its impressive ability to multiply. Because of this quality, they are very popular in China where the fish is sold in markets everywhere.
The bighead carp mostly feeds on plankton and phytoplankton making it the perfect sewer fish. It is already scientifically proven that the presence of a carp population makes a water clearer, but there are major downsides as well. When a Chinese carp species is introduced to a new environment they tend to take over the water source, thus indirectly affecting the native fish population.
There are several states in the US where live bighead carp possession is illegal. The fact that a bighead carp was captured in the Minnesota River deeply worries the authorities.
Image source: www.wikimedia.org
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