Minnesota Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Fight the Spread of Asian Carp

By KBJR News 1

Minnesota Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Fight the Spread of Asian Carp

March 6, 2012 Updated Mar 6, 2012 at 2:19 PM CST

Washington D.C. (Northland's NewsCenter) --- After commercial fisherman caught a silver carp and bighead carp in the Mississippi River earlier this week, multiple Minnesota representatives are now introducing a bill that could put a stop to the Asian Carp invasion.

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Representatives Keith Ellison, Erik Paulsen, and Tim Walz today introduced the The Upper Mississippi Conservation and River Protection Act (Upper Mississippi CARP Act) to the legislature in order to stop the spread of Asian Carp into Minnesota waters.

The bill states that the Upper St. Anthony Falls Dam in Minneapolis, MN on the Mississippi River could be closed to stop the spread of Asian Carp if the invasive species continues to spread further into the river and other Minnesota waterways.

The bill would also direct federal agencies to help Minnesota root out the infestation of the Asian Carp and prevent this invasive species from spreading further into Minnesota waters.

Under this bill the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers would conduct studies to determine whether or not the St. Anthony Falls Dam would have to be shut down. Studies would also be conducted to find other control methods, such as modifying lock operations and alternative barriers, to prevent the spread of Asian Carp.

This bill will also ask the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) at the White House to include the Upper Mississippi River, the Minnesota River, and the St. Croix River into the Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework.

In addition to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the legislation is supported by Audubon Minnesota Waters, Minnesota Seasonal Recreational Property Owners, Anglers for Habitat, Clean Water Action, Minnesota Coalition of Lake Associations, National Wildlife Federation, Fish & Wildlife Legislative Alliance, Mississippi River Fund, Minnesota Division Izaak Walton League of America, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Minnesota Trout Unlimited, National Parks Conservation Association, and Friends of the Mississippi River.

Senator Amy Klobuchar authored the bill in the Senate and Rep. Keith Ellison authored the bill in the House. Senator Al Franken, Rep. Erik Paulsen, and Rep. Tim Walz are original cosponsors. The legislation is supported by Governor Mark Dayton.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns