Aquatic Invasive Species Wars: The Latest
Six organizations, deeply concerned about the threat aquatic invasive species (AIS) pose to our lakes, organized a two day symposium a week ago to bring in experts from Minnesota and across the country to share the latest research findings. Interested citizens packed the Kelly Inn in St. Paul to hear what they had to say.
Here is a sample of things we learned.
- Experts from outside our state say Minnesota has the best AIS information programs in the country and is the leader in AIS education.
- Minnesota has 42 million visitors each year. The top twelve attractions all have a link to our waters.
- There are twelve different families of fish that need plants for spawning. Plants attract fish in their early life stages.
- There are vanishingly few research facilities addressing AIS across the nation.
- Proposals have been put forward in the MN Legislature to fund an AIS research center at the University of Minnesota.
- A researcher from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stated that the plant Hydrilla poses a very serious new threat. It is currently in Wisconsin.
- Importing minnows from other states risks expanding AIS spread.
- Asian Silver carp are very difficult to catch. Underwater cameras reveal they swim up to a net, stop, and turn in the other direction.
Sponsors of the event include:
- Minnehaha Creek Watershed District
- Pelican River Watershed District
- Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts, Inc.
- Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation
- Minnesota Waters
- MN COLA