The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is in the process of installing two electronic fish barriers in the area, one near Eagle Lake and the other outside of Janesville, hoping to keep invasive species from getting into area bodies of water.
The DNR’s Waterville Fisheries Supervisor Craig Soupir said the projects protect 31 lakes and 142 miles of rivers, streams, and ditches because, “We have these invasive carp that have been moving their way north; they’re in the Mississippi River, the Minnesota River. There (are) open connections between the Minnesota River, through the Le Sueur River, up into this part of the state – Mankato area, Madison Lake, Lake Elysian.”
Soupir explained that the invasive carp can quickly do a lot of damage to the native ecosystem if they make their way into those waterways because, “They become very high numbers and they really compete with some of our native fish and mussels for plankton and they can really disturb some of our food webs that we have.”
One of the species they are trying to keep out can also pose a danger to people. Soupir said, “Those are actually the silver carp and they are the jumping type so when they get disturbed they have a tendency to jump. That’s what you see and that can really cause a safety hazard in lakes that have a lot of recreational use like water skiers or jet skiers.”
Three invasive carp have been found in the Minnesota River since 2014.