MAISRC in the News

U of M researcher details latest in aquatic invasive species fight

January 30, 2020

In 2012, a group of researchers at the University of Minnesota joined in the fight against aquatic invasive species and their negative impacts on the state’s lakes, rivers and wetlands.

“I believe strongly that through science and innovation, we can get ourselves out of this problem,” said Nick Phelps, director of the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center at the university.

Phelps, who spoke as a guest during the Jan. 22 Wayzata Rotary Club meeting, detailed the center’s work in developing research-based solutions to reduce the impacts of invasive species and preventing them from spreading.


Invasive species slow walleye growth, study says, meaning fewer survive winters

January 28, 2020

Young walleye growth rates decline by 12 to 14% in Minnesota lakes invaded by zebra mussels and spiny water fleas, researchers concluded in a study published recently.

Led by University of Minnesota Assistant Prof. Gretchen Hansen, it becomes one of the few studies to show impacts of aquatic invasive species on high-level fish such as walleye. A summary of the study in the journal Biological Invasions said slower growth makes it more difficult for baby walleyes to survive.

Fourteen percent might not seem like a big number, Hansen said, but a fish smaller than normal at the end of the first growing season can struggle to survive over winter.

The study out of the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center looked at a 35-year data set of first-year walleye growth in nine of Minnesota’s best walleye lakes. The numbers were routinely recorded over the years by the Department of Natural Resources. In the early years, none of the lakes was invaded. But seven of the lakes became invaded by spiny water fleas or zebra mussels (Mille Lacs was invaded by both).


Study: Young walleye are smaller in MN lakes with zebra mussels, spiny water fleas

January 29, 2020

A new University of Minnesota study has found that, when lakes were infested with two common aquatic invasive species — zebra mussels and spiny waterflea — young walleye didn’t grow as large as quickly, as they did before the invaders arrived.

The Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center study focused on nine large Minnesota lakes that are destinations for walleye anglers: Lake of the Woods, Rainy, Kabetogama, Vermillion, Red, Cass, Winnibigoshish, Leech and Mille Lacs.


Study: Young walleye are smaller in MN lakes with zebra mussels, spiny waterflea

January 29, 2020

A new University of Minnesota study has found that, when lakes were infested with two common aquatic invasive species — zebra mussels and spiny waterflea — young walleye didn’t grow as large as quickly, as they did before the invaders arrived.

The Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center study focused on nine large Minnesota lakes that are destinations for walleye anglers: Lake of the Woods, Rainy, Kabetogama, Vermillion, Red, Cass, Winnibigoshish, Leech and Mille Lacs.


2019 Research Report

October 1, 2019

Dear friends,

It was another exciting and productive year at the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center! I continue to be inspired by our researchers – from the first semester students to the tenured professors – all working toward a common goal of finding research-based solutions to Minnesota’s AIS problems. As I look back on 2019, it is amazing what has been accomplished.

Six research projects concluded this year, each advancing our scientific understanding and providing new tools and options for managers, professionals, and the public. These projects included work on invasive bighead carp, non-native Phragmites, and zebra mussels – highlights are included in the following pages. The approaches to each project were as varied as the species, but all remained focused on solutions-oriented research and end user engagement. Congratulations to the project teams for getting their work over the finish line and beyond!


Can a $1 million light-and-sound show stop invasive carp?

September 21, 2019

Inside a cramped shed alongside a lock and dam on the Mississippi River south of La Crosse, Wis., fisheries biologist Jeff Whitty flipped a switch.

A few yards away, at the foot of the lock, a dozen submerged speakers began blasting a repetitive drumbeat — a Pacman-like whomp, whomp, whomp — while underwater strobe lights began to pulse with bright flashes.

Researchers were about to discover what fish think about the best — and perhaps last — hope for keeping destructive Asian carp out of Minnesota’s rivers and lakes.


Surf's up on Minnesota's hottest lake sport, but not everyone's on board

July 26, 2019

Imagine: It’s a hot summer day, and you’re surfing behind a boat as it cuts across the lake.

But this isn’t water skiing. You’re not being pulled by a rope tied to the boat. You’re riding a perfectly curled wake, created by the boat itself.

That’s wakesurfing, a relatively new water sport that’s been gaining popularity on Minnesota lakes.


Researchers target zebra mussel young

June 6, 2019

A study is continuing in Lake Minnetonka this year on a potential new method to manage zebra mussel populations.

Researchers from the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) and the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) are testing the use of a copper-based product to reduce the survival of zebra mussel veligers (larvae). By targeting the youngest zebra mussels, it’s hoped the overall zebra mussel population can be decreased. The study, funded by a $30,500 grant from Hennepin County, is the first known field test of its kind in the country.

"We're targeting veligers for this study for several reasons," said Dr. Michael McCartney, MAISRC Research Assistant Professor. "They're in a life stage that is more sensitive to our applications, we can lower the risk of larvae accidentally spreading through recreational boats, and we think we can significantly knock back zebra mussel populations by reducing the number of veligers in the lake."
 


Fish Cannons, Koi Herpes and Other Tools to Combat Invasive Carp

June 4, 2019

Why is someone loading a fish into a tube?

That’s Whooshh. It’s a high-tech fish removal system, something like a cross between a potato gun and a pneumatic tube at a drive-in bank.

And that fish is a common carp, one the oldest and most invasive fish on the planet.


U of M researchers experiment with 'Carp Cannon' to stop spread of invasive fish

May 29, 2019

The annual migration of fish presents a unique opportunity for researchers at the University of Minnesota testing a new way to stop the spread of invasive carp.

The Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) is on Rice Creek experimenting with a Whooshh System