Large bighead carp pulled from Lake Pepin

8:41 AM, Nov 22, 2012   |    comments
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FRONTENAC, Minn. - Catching a 47-pound fish is usually cause for excitement among commercial anglers.

When that fish is an invasive bighead carp, the reaction is quite different.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says the voracious-eating asian carp was caught in a seine net by commercial fisherman Myles Rolbiecki in Lake Pepin November 16.  

"This recent find is not surprising, as bighead carp were also found in Lake Pepin in 2003 and 2007," said Tim Schlagenhaft of the DNR's Mississippi River team at Lake City. "It adds more evidence that Asian carp continue to work their way up the Mississippi River."

While other adult bighead carp have been found in Lake Pepin and the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers, this is the largest individual carp caught to date.

Bighead carp, members of the Asian carp family, are nonnative species that can cause serious ecological problems as they spread into new waters. Bighead carp can weigh up to 110 pounds and are voracious eaters, capable of consuming 5 to 20 percent of their body weight each day.

They feed on algae and other microscopic organisms, often outcompeting native fish for food. Scientists believe Asian carp could severely disrupt the aquatic ecosystems of Minnesota waters.

More information about Asian carp and their potential impact is available on the DNR's website.

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