To prevent Asian carp from entering Minnesota’s upper region, the Federal Government is considering closing the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam in Minneapolis within one year’s time.
Wadena Day News reported that if Asian carp invade the waterways, they could potentially devastate the region’s sport fishing industry. Asian carp are an invasive fish species that can decimate the fish food supply for an entire ecosystem. That has Congress rushing to prevent Asian carp from entering northern Minnesota.
The potential closure of the lock and dam are included as a provision in water resources development bills that passed by wide margins in both chambers in Congress. So far, the measure is receiving wide support.
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“The last place to stop Asian carp is the lock and dam at St. Anthony Fall,” said Minnesota Rep. Rick Dolan. “This is an event that happens in Minneapolis that has a profound impact on the rest of the state.”
Asian carp populations can be found in southern sections of the Mississippi and Missouri River watershed, but they have not penetrated northern Minnesota. The state’s upper region species, which include walleye, sunfish, northern bass, crappies and trout, will be at significant risk if Asian carp reach northern Minnesota.
Congress will likely decide whether or not to move forward with the closures early this year, after they consider the environmental and economic impacts.