REGIONAL—In the fight against aquatic invasive species, lake associations in Minnesota have often been leading the way. Organizations like the Vermilion Lake Association or the White Iron Chain of Lakes Association, are two organizations that have played a significant role in educating lake users, developing inspection programs, and lobbying for resources.
But what about the nearly 1,600 uninhabited lakes found within the 1.1 million-acre Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness? Who is advocating to protect those lakes from the risks posed by aquatic invasives?
ELYSIAN, Minn. (KEYC) — Dead carp are washing up on the shores of Lake Francis near Elysian and the Minnesota Department of Resources says a virus is a culprit.
The DNR says the virus, called carp edema virus (CEV), may have been introduced to the lake by other invasive species but isn’t cause for concern.
ELYSIAN — A new carp-killing virus has made its way to Lake Frances.
Carp edema virus has been monitored by the Department of Natural Resources since 2017, and CEV appears to be the root of the lake’s common carp kill during the past several weeks.
CEV also has been the cause of several other carp kills in Minnesota over the last several years, and there have already been three cases of it in the state this year.
Enzyme-based coatings developed at the University of Minnesota help protect port infrastructure by disrupting the signals underwater bacteria use to communicate.
In any seaport or freshwater marina around the world, just beneath the surface, and you’ll find an ongoing battle between the boats, docks, bridges—anything made of steel—and a cast of aquatic bacteria in search of a submerged surface to call home. The biocorrosion created by these bacterial hitchhikers is especially dire in cold climates where winter brings the added wear and tear of scraping ice. And Duluth-Superior Harbor is ground zero, as aquatic bacteria corrode nearly 50,000 pounds of steel there each year.
The DNR is actively engaged in several invasive carp partnerships and prevention efforts: The DNR is an active partner in the Upper Mississippi River Invasive Carp Workgroup. The group includes representatives from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, M
DULUTH, Minn. — The news at times seems all bad when it comes to aquatic invasive species in the Northland.
Every year more lakes are infested with zebra mussels, starry stonewort, spiny water fleas, Eurasian water milfoil and more. Asian carp are moving up the Mississippi River system, and snakehead fish — that breathe out of water and can move on land — aren’t far away.
Aquatic invasive species, or AIS, have saturated some of our most popular waters, like Mille Lacs, Winnibigoshish, Lake of the Woods and the St. Louis River estuary. It seems just about every lake and river now has some sort of invader. And it seems inevitable that even the lakes that don’t have them will get them soon.
LA CROSSE, Wis. — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is about to embark on a large scale netting operation after more than 50 invasive carp were caught by commercial fishing operators on the Mississippi River.
DNR fisheries agents say the invasives were pulled from the river in southeastern Minnesota near La Crosse and Trempealeau, Wisconsin during routine netting operations last weekend.
Sam Erickson followed his love of science to outer space one summer during an internship at NASA. He came away fascinated by seeing into deep space by interpreting interaction between matter and infrared radiation.
Now a full-fledged researcher at the University of Minnesota’s College of Biological Sciences, the 25-year-old Alaska native is immersed in something far more earthly: killing carp. His fast-moving genetic engineering project is drawing attention from around the country as a potential tool to stop the spread of invasive carp.
Zebra mussels may get most of the attention when it comes to aquatic invasives, but the unchecked growth of starry stonewort can really jam up a lake, and Big Detroit and Big Cormorant are in the top 10 lakes in Becker County most threatened by it.
“Starry stonewort is more of a problem than zebra mussels, in some lakes it’s a big problem,” said Karl Koenig, the quality and aquatic invasive species coordinator for the Becker Soil and Water Conservation District. Starry stonewort crowds out native vegetation in lakes, and it tends to flourish in shallower lakes like the ones in Becker County, he said.
Walleyes in northern Minnesota lakes infested by zebra mussels and spiny water fleas are growing at a slower rate than they did before the infestations.
That was the bad news in a recent study by University of Minnesota researchers who looked at nine popular walleye lakes that have been impacted by one or both of the aquatic invasive species.
Researchers (including Josh Dumke at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Natural Resources Research Institute) looked at walleye growth rates in Lake of the Woods, Rainy, Kabetogama, Vermillion, Red, Cass, Winnibigoshish, Leech and Mille Lacs lakes using 35 years of data gathered by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologists.
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.