Invasive Carp

Invasive carp are large, plankton-feeding fish that are moving northward in the Mississippi River, and pose a threat to Minnesota’s rivers and lakes. While no breeding populations have been detected in Minnesota waters of the Mississippi, individual fish have been caught near the Twin Cities and in the St. Croix River.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been working to slow the spread of invasive carp since the early 2000s, but began a renewed effort starting in 2011 under the direction and leadership of Gov. Mark Dayton and DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. By working with partner agencies, conservation groups and federal officials, the DNR hopes to stop or significantly slow the proliferation of invasive carp in Minnesota waters.


What are invasive carp? 

photos of asian carp

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Above is a close-up of a bighead carp (top) and a silver carp. They eat huge amounts of plankton and detritus. Because they feed on plankton, these fish compete for food with native organisms including mussels, larval fishes, and some adult fish such as paddlefish. This competition for food could result in fewer and smaller sport fish.

Silver carp are shown jumping out of the water in the Illinois River. Silver carp can jump up to 10 feet out of the water when disturbed by sounds of watercraft. They often jump into boats and can injure boaters, personal watercraft operators, and water skiers.

Invasive carp captures must be reported to the DNR immediately. Call 651-587-2781 or email Please take a photo and make arrangements with the DNR to transport the carp to the nearest fisheries office. To keep invasive carp for personal use, download the Special Permit to Possess Prohibited Invasive Species of Carp. PDF

Plans and studies

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