Coldwell Banker Burnet, Edina Regional Office
7550 France Ave. S.
Edina, MN

Rose Hart is licensed in MN

Catch and Report

Under a new law that went into effect in August of 2007, angelers are required to report if they have caught a bighead, silver or grass carp. Anglers should report it within a week to DNR Fisheries Offices or the DNR Invasive Species Program at (651) 259-5100 or 1-888-MINNDNR.

Silver Carp

Grass Carp

Although they are prohibited invasive species, it is legal to bring them to the DNR for identification, preferably the same day they are caught.
- August, 2007

Bighead Carp

Rose Hart's OutSide
Carp carpe

At times in our lives we meet someone who tells us a story so universally poignant that it bears our retelling it for many years although that person for whatever reason has since gone from our lives.
Illustration: Tricia Fabry
Illustration: Tricia Fabry, c. 2008

Such is the story of Oscar the goldfish. As this story was told, a young boy possessed a pet goldfish and at the same time he also had a wading pool in the yard. On a summer day the boy had the idea to combine the two. All summer long Oscar swam in his wading pool, eating all manner of edible things that happened into his pool, and he grew from the largesse of the bounty.

Cold weather came and with it the realization that Oscar would no longer fit back into his goldfish bowl. Oscar was unceremoniously tossed into the lake. We may speculate on Oscar's fate. Although common carp can breed with goldfish, the common carp averages 3 feet long and weighs twenty pounds. A bright orange coloration in the wild world is but a predator broadcast for "lunch".

Oscar's habitat was a crude sort of koi pond. Koi are decorative, domesticated common carp, originally bred in Japan as a protein supplement. These carp can live for thirty or forty years, and a healthy, rare koi can fetch thousands of dollars. In America, koi ponds have increased in popularity in the past decade and so has the concern for, and regulation of, the invasive species that typically inhabit the ponds.

Carp are considered a trash fish by the majority of American anglers. Along the Mississippi riverbank we regularly see three-foot long carp carcasses and remark at the waste, but all five species of carp now found in America are invasive species. Ironically, it was the United States government that stocked lakes and rivers with them after the American civil war, to cheaply feed the large influx of Eastern European immigrants who had an appetite for this "rough fish".

The silver carp, imported in the 1980's to eat algae in southern catfish farm ponds, escaped into the Mississippi watershed when the river flooded in 1993. The silver carp recently was in the news as its made its way up the Illinois River. The concern is great, because the Illinois River is the connection from the Mississippi river to the Great Lakes. Once into the Great Lakes the silver carp will create a number of environmental problems, especially because of its habit of flying out of the water and assaulting boaters with its 80 pound, four foot long heft.

In an effort to halt its northward migration a 2004 study determined that the most cost effective way to limit a silver carp invasion up the Mississippi River would be an underwater acoustic and bubble barrier. To be constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers in selected lock and dams south of the Minnesota River, it is proposed to prevent these fish from reaching the Upper Mississippi River system.

These nonnative fish species pose serious threats to Minnesota's fish populations.

Minnesota Regulated Invasive Species
Koi and goldfish are regulated invasive species in Minnesota. They are legal to buy and sell, but may not be placed in public waters, which include most natural water bodies. These species may be placed in constructed ponds or water gardens that are not connected to public waters, or may be kept in aquariums.

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Copyright, Rose Hart, 2007