MAISRC in the News

New virus leads to carp kill on Lake Francis

May 27, 2020

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.

May 18, 2020

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

April 26, 2020

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.

More than 50 invasive carp pulled from Mississippi River

March 13, 2020

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.

Solution for a scourge? University of Minnesota scientist is progressing with carp-killer tool

March 6, 2020

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.


Invasive starry stonewort threatens Big Detroit, Big Cormorant and other Becker County lakes

February 10, 2020

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 grow slower in lakes with zebra mussels, water fleas

February 5, 2020

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.

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.