According to the Wisconsin DNR, anglers have caught a Bighead Carp near the Prairie du Sac Dam on the lower Wisconsin River. Also last month, evidence of Silver Carp DNA was found in a carp caught in the St Croix River in Western Wisconsin. This has state officials calling for the Federal governement to allocate funding to deal with the issue of invasive species in the Mississippi River System.
Silver Carp are known for their jumping behavior when startled by boaters and fishermen and are currently plaguing waterways in Illinois. The revelation of invasive carp species in Wisconsin waters is worrisome, but as of late, none of fish caught have made it past barriers such as dams, nor have any young fish been found or shown signs of reproducing.
According to the Wisconsin DNR:
“High water levels on the Mississippi River are enabling more Asian carp to move farther into Wisconsin waters,” says Bob Wakeman, who coordinates Department of Natural Resources efforts to prevent and control the spread of aquatic invasive species.
“Their presence is not a big surprise because their numbers have grown tremendously in the lower Mississippi and Illinois river systems and stray fish have reached Wisconsin before. But it’s a big concern because of the potential damage they can do.
Bighead and Silver Carp eat plankton and put stress on native fish species as they overtake a fisheries. Anglers are advised if they catch a Silver or Bighead carp to photograph it, note where you caught it, put it on ice, and contact the local DNR office. Following the rules for preventing the spread of invasive fish species and fish disease such as VHS will go a long way towards limiting the Asian Carp species spread.