Skip to main content

Closing of lock hailed as victory in fight against invasive carp

  • Author:
  • Updated:

The closing of the Upper St. Anthony Falls lock on the Mississippi River still needs President Obama's signature to become official. But policymakers and resort owners were already celebrating the move Tuesday and calling it an important step in the fight to stop the spread of invasive carp.

The Associated Press reports the water infrastructure bill passed by Congress this month will close the lock in Minneapolis later this year.

At a gathering near the lock U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said "We can either stop the carp at this lock or watch them continue up the Mississippi [River] into Mille Lacs, into Crow Wing River, and all the connected waterways north of the Twin Cities," the AP says.

In U.S. waterways where silver carp and bighead carp have gained a foothold, they've crowded out native fish with their voracious appetites. The biologist who leads the University of Minnesota's Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, Peter Sorensen, tells WCCO “They are filter feeders and they eat just about everything, so they collapse the food chain.”

This embed is invalid

MPR News says President Obama is expected to sign the bill that includes the lock shutdown soon. The network also notes that Congressman Keith Ellison reminded Minnesotans they'll need to do their part in the fight against invasive carp: "If you get your minnow bucket and carry it above the lock, that will undermine all the work we've done" to close the lock and stop the carp, Ellison said.

The decision to close the lock is a precaution against the spread of the carp. The carp have been climbing the Mississippi and their eggs have been found near Minnesota but no reproducing population of the fish has been confirmed in the state.

 Forum News Service reports a vice-president of Madden's Resort near Brainerd was on hand Tuesday to underscore the importance of the invasive carp issue to the state's $12 billion tourism industry.

A small segment of that industry is being affected by the decision to shut down the lock at St. Anthony Falls. The Star Tribune spoke with the founder of Above the Falls Sports, which has been operating kayak tours on the Mississippi since 2009.

Bob Schmitz tells the newspaper he stopped using the locks two years ago at the request of the Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service. He says those agencies have now asked him to also stop using a downstream lock near Minnehaha Falls. But he is not complying with that request, telling the Star Trbune “It is such an absolutely great way to learn about where we are and where we have come from in Minneapolis.”

Next Up

Great Dane Rescue and Sanctuary

Emaciated Great Danes rescued after being found living in minivan

Great Dane Rescue of Minnesota and Wisconsin posted that two of the dogs are in "rough condition" and "barely hanging on."

Screen Shot 2020-05-26 at 10.28.52 AM

2 years since George Floyd's killing, Biden signs exec order on policing

The signing comes on the second anniversary of Floyd's murder by police in south Minneapolis.


Lutsen Mountains owner to buy Michigan ski resort

The Skinner family has operated alpine ski areas in the Midwest for 60 years.


Mayo Clinic, CDC address concerns over monkeypox in the US

The CDC does not currently think there is a significant threat to the general public.

police tape

Charges: Man killed brother, left body in homemade camper for 7 months

James Robert Hess, 48, faces second-degree murder charges for the death of his 52-year-old brother, William Harold Hess Jr.


Minnesota forecast: Hot, humid and severe storm chances

Bring Me The News meteorologist Sven Sundgaard says right now the best chance for storms looks like Sunday/Sunday night.

Thai Cultural Council of Minnesota

Minnesota's biggest Thai festival to be hosted in front of State Capitol

The Thai New Year, or Songkran, is one of the most celebrated holidays in Thailand.

police tape, crime scene

Man dies after being shot in the head in St. Cloud

Investigators believe the suspects fled the scene in a vehicle.


Uvalde school massacre: MN Democrats call for action, Republicans prayers

The tragedy in Texas has sparked different reactions from Minnesota's congressional delegation.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

St. Cloud man fires shot at police in hours-long standoff, surrenders

Shawn Lawrence Jacobs, 37, was arrested just before 4 p.m. Tuesday after he surrendered.

New baby zebra at the Como Zoo.

St. Paul's Como Zoo welcomes new baby zebra

The baby is yet to be named, and the zoo is planning an event for visitors to help with the decision.