This project conducted a risk assessment to prioritize issues and areas for Asian carp management and to reduce the uncertainty about how Asian carp will impact Minnesota’s waterways. To do so, it assumed that silver and bighead carp will arrive in all Minnesota waterways and will focus on determining, through literature review and meeting with relevant experts from around the country, which potential adverse effects are most likely and consequential in the different watersheds of Minnesota.
It also included a risk communication process to share findings with a broad group of stakeholders, researchers, managers, and decision-makers and to foster a conversation about the findings’ implications for management.
Together, the risk assessment and risk communication helped prioritize the management of Asian carp in Minnesota by thoroughly gathering the existing knowledge on Asian carp and using it to assess how they will impact Minnesota, identifying ways to make management progress despite gaps in knowledge, and promoting needed communication to support decision-making in the face of complexity and uncertainty.
A two-day risk assessment meeting was held in March 2016 to characterize the likelihood that bigheaded carps would establish in each watershed, the resulting abundance of bigheaded carp in each watershed, and the severity of each potential adverse effect in each watershed. A risk-based management workshop was held in March 2017 to present and discuss the findings and implications of the full Minnesota Bigheaded Carps Risk Assessment.