A bow angler fishing in a private gravel pit got quite the surprise as they pulled in the largest invasive carp ever recorded in Minnesota. The bighead carp measured 47 1/2 inches in length and weighed 61.7 pounds.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said the angler snagged the carp on Sunday, in Redwood Falls. The person immediately reported the capture and was helpful getting the specimen delivered to the area fisheries office.
This specimen was captured about 80 miles upstream from the only other bighead carp captured in the Minnesota River.
The fish likely entered the gravel pit during a period of high water. The pit is within the Minnesota River floodplain and periodically becomes connected during flood flows. When floodplain lakes become connected to the river, fish move into these areas to escape the high water velocities in the main river and exploit new food sources.
A DNR invasive carp field crew is working with the local fisheries office and the landowner to conduct follow-up sampling. The crew will also look at sampling areas near the location, including floodplain lakes and the main river.
Invasive carp have been progressing upstream since escaping into the Mississippi River in the 1970s. These large fish compete with native species and pose a threat to rivers and lakes. While no breeding populations have been detected in Minnesota waters, individual fish have been caught in the Mississippi near the Twin Cities, the St. Croix River and the Minnesota River.
Invasive carp captures must be reported to the DNR immediately. Call 651-587-2781 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Take a photo and transport the carp to the nearest fisheries office or make arrangements for it to be picked up by a DNR official.