Mpls. wants federal, state funding to prevent Asian carp invasionby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — Minneapolis city leaders want state and federal authorities to fund efforts to prevent the spread of Asian carp up the Mississippi River.
The fish can harm boaters as they jump out of the water, and deplete the food supply for water fowl and other fish.
City council members Thursday listened to a presentation about the proliferation of the invasive species.
Dr. John Anfinson, chief of resource management for the Mississippi National River and Recreational Area, told council members that city leaders must help form what he called a battle plan — which may include closing the locks on the river at St. Anthony Falls.
Pointing to a multi-colored map, Anfinson told council members the locks may prevent the fish from getting farther upstream.
"The Twin Cities are in a way, a gatekeeper to the heart of Minnesota," Anfinson said. He said a wide path through central Minnesota could be affected if Asian carp get past the Twin Cities.
Officials say the fish are still far from the Twin Cities, but it's important to start planning now, because efforts will have to include the cooperation of a variety of local, state and federal agencies.
Council Member Elizabeth Glidden co-authored a motion that calls on state and federal local agencies to fund efforts to monitor the fish and help prevent its spread.
"This is not an issue where we have the jurisdictional authority to make the decisions that need to be made," Glidden said.
An official with the state's Department of Natural Resources said the spread of carp to major sporting lakes such as Mille Lacs could also have a detrimental impact on tourism.