St. Paul - The latest effort to rid the Mississippi River of an unwanted fish is being concentrated in a section that includes southeast Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is the lead agency in the state/federal effort that has the official name of “Modified Unified Method.”

Deborah Rose

The MUM method uses block nets to create compartments or “cells” from which the fish can be driven. The USGS then uses electrofishing boats and boats outfitted with underwater speakers to herd carp from each cell. When a cell is cleared, another net is used to close the cell and prevent the fish from returning.

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This process is repeated one cell at a time, gradually reducing the area available to the carp and concentrating the fish into a harvest removal area, where a large commercial seine will be used to draw out the congregated fish. Native fish do not seem to respond in the same way as the invasive carp, preferring to hide, rather than run, from the sound stimulus.

Deborah Rose
Deborah Rose

The DNR had expected the operation to be completed by Friday.

Deborah Rose
Deborah Rose

The DNR says the goal of the innovative operation is “to remove invasive carp from Pool 8 and reduce the potential for spawning.”

Deborah Rose
Deborah Rose
Deborah Rose

The DNR says this marks “the first time this method has been used in Minnesota or Wisconsin waters and the first time it has been used anywhere there are low densities of invasive carp.”

So far, the operation has led to the removal of 29 invasive carp. Fourteen of the unwanted fish were caught in Pool 8 earlier this year.

The DNR says the MUM operation was developed “as part of a response to the capture of 39 silver carp and 12 grass carp in Pool 8 in March 2020.”

Pool 8 is located between Dresbach, Minnesota and Genoa, Wisconsin.

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