Winona, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reporting the recent capture of dozens of invasive carp on the Mississippi River in an area south of Winona.

The 39 silver carp and 11 grass carp were caught by two commercial fishing operators near La Crosse and Trempealeau during routine spring netting last weekend. The fishermen turned over to the US Fish and Wildlife Service for further study. Invasive carp have been migrating north on the Mississippi River since their introduction into the waterway in the 1970s. Individual invasive carp have been caught as far north as the Twin Cities but so far, no breeding populations have been detected in Minnesota waters.

"The location where these fish were caught is commonly netted because of concentrations of commercially valuable fish,” said DNR invasive carp field lead Ben Larson. “This is the largest congregation of invasive carp we’ve seen this far upstream."

The DNR is planning to conduct large-scale netting in the area to learn more about the population and to remove as many of the invasive carp as possible. Officials suspect the big population discovered by the fishing operators is related to the prolonged high water conditions on the Mississippi River last summer during which the gates at locks and dams were kept open and made it easier for the carp to move upstream.

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