A few local anglers had a huge surprise when they pulled out of the water in which they were fishing quite possibly the biggest fish they had ever caught whilst fishing in the St. Croix river. Their surprise was not out of place, because the silver and bighead carp which were caught, should not have been found in those waters.
The 5 fish were caught in the 26-31 May timeframe, and were the subject of local media attention right from the beginning. However, their presence in the St. Croix river, also caught the DNR attention who took the fish to be further studied.
Since 1996 only four bighead carps were ever caught in the St Croix river, therefore it is valid reason for concern that suddenly so many of them can now be found in these waters.
The local authorities fear that these voracious types of fish will end up eating all the plankton from the river which will then affect the rest of the ecosystem. If the silver and bighead carp were to multiply in that part of the Mississippi river, then not much could be done to prevent them from invading the area.
These species of carp can grow to weigh as much as 60 pounds and if many of them conglomerate in the same river, other fish species are crowded and left hungry,
This is the reason why authorities took the fish to be dissected and to find out whether or not they are male or female and to see if they have already began multiplying.
Peter Sorensen is a University of Minnesota professor and he is conducting the research that is studying the presence of the silver and bighead carp in the St. Croix river. He said that, based on the massive size of the fish that were caught, they must have been living in these waters for years.
These species of fish are known to live in the water of the Mississippi river and in the southern area of Iowa tributaries to the Mississippi river, but so far no silver or bighead carp was ever caught in an area north of Hasting.
State officials have issued an announcement in which they request that any person who catches any type of invasive carp , silver, black, bighead or grass, to take a picture of the fish and notify the authorities. They should also store the fish as best as they can, until a DNR official can come and retrieve the fish.
Image Source: publicradio