Sampling produces silver carp DNA north of Coon Rapids Dam

Bad news today from the Department of Natural Resources, which reported eDNA testing for Asian carp found signs of the invasive silver carp upstream of the Coon Rapids Dam in the Twin Cities.

Bighead carp (top) and silver carp. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)

The silver carp is the nasty jumping species that goes airborne when frightened by noises such as boats.

The dam is upstream of the Mississippi’s lock and dam system and has been a significant fish barrier and a key component in the DNR’s strategy to keep Asian carp out of the river north of the Twin Cities. The DNR today, though, reported finding silver carp DNA traces at 19 of 48 sites tested upstream from the dam.

According to a DNR news release, the highly sensitive eDNA tests are designed to detect DNA in the environment that comes from the mucus or excrement of Asian carp.

The DNR said it will hire a commercial fisherman to look for Asian carp below and above Coon Rapids Dam, as it has at other sites where the carp DNA has been detected.

“The positive test results don’t change the fundamental goal of the state’s Asian carp action plan,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. “We must research and implement our available options to prevent or slow the movement of Asian carp upstream in our river systems, and to manage and control their populations should they become established.”

More information about Asian carp can be found here.

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