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Posted on April 15, 2019 at 6:01 PM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 4/15/2019
Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:
Invasive Carp and Flooding:
This spring flooding across much of the Midwest has brought destruction to many states. Besides the destruction of homes, infrastructure and agriculture, what about the potential for ecological harm to our rivers and water bodies? Are we potentially at risk of invasive carp species spreading north into Minnesota waterways because of the huge amounts of flood waters? According to the MN DNR (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources), no established invasive carp species have been found in Minnesota yet. This doesn’t mean that a few haven’t been caught in Minnesota rivers or other waterways. The few per year that are caught are found to be adult species and not breeding age fish that would have eggs or reproduce.
We have had carp in Minnesota for ages, but they are not the same as what are being called invasive carp species. The invasive carp species include four main hybrids: Silver Carp, Bighead Carp, Grass Carp, and Black Carp. These invasive carp species were purposely brought to the United States back in the 1970’s to help keep fish farms down south cleaner. These invasive species obviously escaped into the Mississippi and have been trying to migrate farther and farther north.
One of the major issues with these invasive carp species is they are incredible eaters and grow extremely rapidly. These invasives also over-populate the water ecosystem quickly and consume much of the smaller bait fish that our native species of fish like walleye and others, would normally consume. With their rapid rate of growth, these invasive carp are usually not eaten by our typical predatory fish, so they are left to grow and reproduce rapidly.
Flood conditions make the potential for the spread of these invasive carp all the more real for Minnesota waters. There is a higher potential that invasive carp could make it through some of the locks and dams especially during flood times. Also, with the flood waters spreading across many acres, it gives the fish additional areas to travel to before flood waters recede.
Researchers and MN DNR have been experimenting with different methods to deter the migrating species from coming north. Some of these fish barriers use noise, light, bubbles, and electricity. Army Corps of Engineers is working on a plan to stop invasive carp from spreading at the Brando Road Lock, which is near Joliet, Illinois. This area is sited as a key area to bottleneck the problem of spreading before getting into our Minnesota Great Lakes. The MN DNR has been running studies and monitoring intensively for the past seven years, in hopes to stay ahead of the invasion. For more reading on this subject click on the link.
Recent Drainage Inspections – week of April 8 – April 12:
We require that all repairs to a county drainage system (tile or open ditch) be authorized by one us in the drainage office, either Craig or myself, before any repairs are made.
Drainage Management Specialist