ST. PAUL —
Researchers say they have found little evidence of bighead and silver carp in the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers.
The latest eDNA research released on Thursday indicates that the numbers of the invasive fish are still relatively low, and that they have not become established in Minnesota.
The technology is evolving, according to Peter Sorensen, director of the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center. It detected silver carp in Iowa where the fish are abundant, but detected no silver carp eDNA in key locations in Minneapolis.
On the other hand, it did not detect bighead carp in Iowa although the fish is known to be present. No bighead carp were detected in Minnesota.
The technology has been used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Illinois River and Great Lakes; it includes DNA sequencing as a final verification step.
Director of the DNR's Ecological and Waters division, Steve Hirsch, said although the numbers are small, the issue of invasive Asian carp spreading into regional waters remains urgent for the state, and requires immediate action.