The Minnesota Barrier Assessment Study

In September 2012, the DNR began a GIS-based invasive carp risk assessment project to carry out the following objectives:

  • Provide visual representation of potential pathways of invasive carp upstream migration.
  • Assess aquatic barriers for ability to limit upstream invasive carp migration.
  • Identify potential watershed breaches (i.e. pathways across major watershed boundaries such as ditches, culverts, etc.).
  • Identify waters susceptible to expansion.
  • Develop tools to help quantify resources affected.
  • Develop tools to help assess migration/infestation scenarios.
  • Identify strategic sites for potential invasive carp barriers.

The project applied GIS analysis to information gathered from several barrier databases and data from field level professionals.

A preliminary risked-based spatial map was released in November 2013 depicting where in Minnesota invasive carp may spread by their own swimming capabilities.

In addition, the project produced the following outcomes:

  • assignment of relative risk of invasive carp passage on 2,000+ stream barriers,
  • GIS tools for quantifying resources and evaluating scenarios, and
  • Identification of watershed breaches.

Future work will be done verifying and refining data, prioritizing locations for potential stream barrier enhancement, and prioritizing watershed breaches for projects to prevent passage by invasive fish species.

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