Minnesota rethinking Asian carp evidenceFALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. — Announcements that Asian carp DNA had been found in and near the Mississippi River around the Twin Cities sent shudders through Minnesota last October and December.
By: Don Davis, The Republican Eagle
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. — Announcements that Asian carp DNA had been found in and near the Mississippi River around the Twin Cities sent shudders through Minnesota last October and December.
That could mean, the experts said, that the invasive fish with huge appetites could move into most other Minnesota waters, eating native fish’s food and perhaps severely injuring large recreational fishing and resort industries.
State officials, however, now question those results and Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr said he expects an announcement soon about new tests that could show the DNA may not have come from Asian carp in the Twin Cities.
Landwehr, talking in a Minnesota State Fair invasive species exhibit, said water has been retested, but did not go into details about what was found.
The environmental DNA tests have been controversial, and even the University of Notre Dame scientists, former and present, who developed the tests say they do not prove fish are in the area where they find strands of carp DNA.
Jay Rendall of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said that Asian carp DNA may have gotten into Mississippi water in any of a number of ways, without fish actually being there. Birds could deposit it, fish feces and urine may have somehow got into the river or just fish scales could produce the results.
Still, live bighead carp have been caught in the Mississippi south of the Twin Cities and in April, a 30-pounder was caught in the St. Croix River where it dumps into the Mississippi. Bighead is a species of Asian carp.