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Invasive carp found near Stillwater – furthest upstream ever in St. Croix River

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Five invasive bighead carp have been captured in the St. Croix River just south of Stillwater over the past week, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says.

This is the furthest upstream invasive carp have been detected in the St. Croix – roughly 7 miles north of where they were previously found.

Prior to this, four bighead carp had been caught in the St. Croix River since 1996.

These fish, which can grow to 60 pounds, threaten aquatic ecosystems and the food chain by consuming large amounts of plankton, which native fish rely on to survive.

Local anglers and the DNR caught the fish, and the DNR did intensive sampling in the river to determine if more are in the area. It will also use other methods from its Invasive Carp Action Plan to protect the river from the species.

Silver and bighead carp, which are among the four invasive carp species threatening the state's ecosystems, have been caught in the Mississippi River as far north as Hastings. However, the DNR has found no evidence of them reproducing in Minnesota's waters of the Mississippi or St. Croix rivers.

The DNR is reminding anglers that if they catch a bighead, silver, black or grass carp, immediately contact the DNR and don't release the fish. Take a photo and store the fish until it can be delivered to the DNR.

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