February 2021 newsletter

Common carp research featured in the Minneapolis Star Tribune 

MAISRC researchers, Dr. Przemek Bajer and Isaiah Tolo (Doctoral Candidate in Dr. Phelps' lab) were interviewed by the Star Tribune on their ongoing common carp control and management projects. While Bajer focuses on the attraction and removal of carp (maisrc.umn.edu/stream-barriers), Tolo is working to identify species-specific viruses that can be used to control populations (maisrc.umn.edu/native-pathogens). Read the article >

Field work throttles up in Larkin Lab despite pandemic

In the spring of 2020, conquering uncertainty though MAISRC research was elevated to a new level. As the pandemic settled all aspects of our team’s personal and professional lives, a bigger question floated to the top—“How can we complete lab and field work safely and socially distanced?” With over 100 research plots scheduled to be surveyed underwater in 2020, one project team dove into the challenge. Read their story >

Research in Action - Nicole Erickson, Crow Wing County

This month, we are debuting a new feature where we check in with one of the AIS managers we work with across the state to learn more about their job, especially when they work with researchers or use research to support their management. For our first interview, MAISRC’s Research Outreach Specialist, Meg Duhr, spoke with Nicole Erickson, Environmental Services Specialist focusing on AIS and water planning for Crow Wing County. Check out her interview >

Recommendations for establishing a statewide surveillance and early detection system for aquatic invasive species

In 2019, MAISRC was asked by the Minnesota Legislature to create a report on the establishment of a statewide surveillance and early detection system for aquatic invasive species. Research Fellows, Dr. Nicholas Phelps and Dr. Amy Kinsley gathered a team of experts and got to work on one big question—"How can we coordinate our local and statewide efforts to protect our lakes and rivers from aquatic invasive species?" The report was finalized and presented to the Legislature in Jan. 2021. View the report >


  • Reminder! The deadline for new research proposals is March 1, 2021. MAISRC is seeking proposals for research studies to advance control and management, prevention of establishment and spread, risk assessment, and early detection of aquatic invasive species.
  • Spiny water fleas are bad for our lakes and their primary means of spread is on recreational fishing gear. Based on our research, we developed a campaign called Stop Spiny and are working with partners and volunteers around the state to get our message out. Our suite of campaign materials is available to anybody who wants to help. We will be offering two free, online trainings on March 2 from 2-3 p.m. or March 3 from 7-8 p.m. to help you learn about these resources, the campaign timelines, target audiences, and campaign messages. Whether you are a lake association volunteer, a concerned citizen, or a professional AIS manager, this brief training will show you the resources and support MAISRC can offer if you would like to support this effort in your community.
  • Registration for AIS Management 101 in now open! The course is online-only and was developed in partnership with University of Minnesota Extension. Registration is open to anyone, including residents of other states, though certain portions of the course, such as permitting regulations, will include information specific to Minnesota.
  • On Jan. 28, 2021, MAISRC Grad Fellow, Naomi Blinick was asked to testify at the Minnesota Legislature's House Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee hearing. Watch the recorded hearing. We are very happy and proud that Naomi was invited to share her expertise. Naomi's research at MAISRC focuses on the impacts of zebra mussels in Minnesota lakes: maisrc.umn.edu/walleye-ais
  • MAISRC Director and Research Fellow, Dr. Nick Phelps was recently named to the UMN Water Council. Phelps is one of seven new members to begin a three-year term in 2021.

Recent publications

Susceptibility of Pimephales promelas and Carassius auratus to a strain of koi herpesvirus isolated from wild Cyprinus carpio in North America. (Tolo, Padhi, Williams, Singh, Halvorson, Mor, Phelps)

A key finding: These results suggest that fathead minnows and goldfish are not susceptible to the koi herpesvirus infection and that detection of koi herpes virus DNA alone in host susceptibility trials should be interpreted with caution.


Complete Data and Analysis for: Niche models differentiate potential impacts of two aquatic invasive plant species on native macrophytes. (Verhoeven, Glisson, Larkin)

A key finding: Researchers compiled a repository of 3,404 plant surveys from Minnesota and modeled niches of 34 species using a probabilistic niche framework. The results suggest that curlyleaf pondweed and Eurasian watermilfoil have established dominance through different mechanisms and that direct competition with native species is less likely for curlyleaf pondweed than Eurasian watermilfoil.