Today, Congressman Tim Walz met with Asian carp experts at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center to discuss ways to stop the spread of the invasive Asian carp fish from entering Minnesota's rivers and lakes.
"Minnesota is known for its pristine rivers and lakes that many enjoy every summer for family vacations or utilize to make a living. In this respect, Asian carp pose a serious threat to our quality of life," said Walz. "We must do everything we can to keep Minnesota waterways--one of our most valued state treasures--clean and secure. I am here today to get input and ideas from experts who are on the front lines working to stop the spread of the invasive fish as we move into the summer tourist season."
"Sportsmen and women truly appreciate Congressman Walz being here today to discuss what needs to be done to stop the spread of Asian Carp into the Upper Midwest. We must protect our waters from the threat of Asian Carp so that future generations can continue to enjoy them," said John Lenczewski, Executive Director, Minnesota Trout Unlimited.
Asian carp have the ability to eat up to 40 percent of their body weight and can sometimes grow as large as 110 pounds. They have had a devastating impact on every ecosystem they have encountered on their way to our Minnesota waterways.
The average female Asian Carp is able to carry up to 1 million eggs in her lifetime, much more than most other native fish found in Minnesota. They are also able to reproduce at a faster rate, allowing them to out-compete other native species for food and resources.
Earlier this year, Congressman Walz, along with Senators Klobuchar and Franken, and Representatives Ellison and Paulsen, introduced legislation to help stop the spread of Asian carp. Their bipartisan legislation would jumpstart the process to consider closing the Upper St. Anthony Falls Dam to help keep the invasive species from entering Minnesota waterways, as well as require immediate closure if Asian carp are found. In addition, the bill would direct federal agencies to partner with Minnesota on efforts to root out infestations and prevent the spread of Asian carp in the state's rivers.