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Dam! Invasive carp reaches Winona lock, farthest point north yet

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A single dead silver carp is attracting a lot of attention near Winona – the furthest north the invasive species has been seen in the Mississippi River, the Star Tribune reports.

The 30-inch fish carcass was found Aug. 9 on a concrete section of Lock and Dam 5, roughly 110 miles south of St. Paul, about 20 miles further north than the carp has been spotted before, the newspaper reported. The U.S. Geological Survey has a map it uses to track the invasive species.

“Finding this carp on the sill of the dam suggests that it was attempting to jump over it; it wasn’t just leaping due to a disturbance,” said Nick Frohnauer, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invasive fish coordinator, said in a press release. “That confirms our assumption that silver carp may use their leaping ability to attempt to overcome barriers.”

The silver carp was first brought into the U.S. in 1973 when a private fish farmer imported silver carp into Arkansas, according to the USGS.

Silver carp are a species of invasive Asian carp that can grow to 60 pounds, and conservation officials say the fish gobble up plankton that native fish eat, according to the DNR. Here's more info on the silver carp from the DNR, and a report from earlier this spring that says DNA tests suggest little evidence that the fish is in the Mississippi or St. Croix rivers.

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