This fall the Prior Lake Spring Lake Watershed District is partnering with WSB & Associates to tag carp in Spring Lake and Prior Lake. The tags will allow the District to track the movements of the carp and identify the areas where the carp congregate. Knowing areas the carp like to gather will permit the District to target these areas for management of the invasive carp.
The Common Carp is native to Eurasia and was brought to the United States, where they are considered an invasive species. Carp aversely affect water quality. Their bottom feeding habits uproot aquatic plants and stir up sediment which increases turbidity. The extra sediment suspended in the water decreases water clarity. Phosphorus is also bound to sediment particles so the re-suspension of sediment makes that phosphorus available to phytoplankton, including algae. Excess phosphorus can lead to unsightly algae blooms which kill native fish and aquatic vegetation.
Tracking the carp will allow the District to plan for the removal of carp from Spring and Prior Lake. By removing the carp from the lakes, the phosphorus contained within the carp’s body and excreted by the fish will be completely removed from the lake and the release of phosphorus normally stirred up by feeding will be greatly reduced.
You can check out where the carp are located on our Where are the carp? page. Several classrooms at local area schools have chosen to “adopt” a few carp and will be closely following the movement of their fish. This provides the students an opportunity to be engaged and learn more about the impact of invasive species like carp and factors that impact the health of our lakes.
Funding for this project was partially provided by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency through a Grant from the State’s Clean Water Partnership Grant Fund.