Timeline of invasive carp in Minnesota

The timeline below highlights some key moments and milestones related to invasive carp in Minnesota and the state's efforts to manage invasive carp, which include silver, bighead, grass, and black carp. For more information, read our Invasive Carp web page.



June 2024

2023 Sampling Report is published. The purpose of this sampling effort was to use more carp-specific gear and techniques to monitor all life stages of invasive carp and associated native fishes in Minnesota waters.

January 2024

Update of Minnesota Invasive Carp Action Plan is released. The plan details Minnesota’s approach to prevention and management of invasive bighead, black, grass, and silver carp, with the key purpose to slow the spread of invasive carp, minimize their impact, and reduce the likelihood of invasive carp reproducing in Minnesota waters.  


Update of Minnesota Invasive Carp Action Plan, currently ongoing:

  • Will use structured decision-making process to recommend management actions for the update
  • Inclusive and transparent process with stakeholders and experts

November-December 2023

The DNR, working with partners, removed a total of 408 invasive carp from Pool 6 of the Mississippi River near Trempealeau, Wisconsin. This was the largest capture of invasive carp in Minnesota to date. The capture was made possible by tracking tagged invasive carp, which led agency staff and contracted commercial fishers to them for removal. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tracking data led DNR to increase surveillance in this area. At DNR's request, Wisconsin DNR crews surveyed Pool 6 for tagged invasive carp. They located a group of tagged invasive carp, pinpointing a site for Minnesota DNR to deploy commercial seining. Increased reports of invasive carp and data from tagged fish indicate that fish were moving in the Mississippi River in spring 2023 during the extended springtime flooding. It is likely that the high-water conditions allowed invasive carp and other fish to move upstream past open dams.

July 2023

DNR receives an appropriation for $1.7 million for invasive carp prevention and management. Planned activities include funding a study on modifying dam operations to prevent upstream movement, completing a 65% design of a deterrent for Lock and Dam 5, adding additional staff to increase tagging and targeted commercial fishing, purchasing field equipment, and investigating methods for selective fish passage that could pass native fish while removing invasive carp.

Photos of dnr workers sorting carp caught in net.

April-May 2023

High water prompts dams to open on the Mississippi River. Evidence from captures, tracked fish, and jumping observed below dams suggests that this event facilitated movement of invasive carp into Minnesota.

Photos of three caught silver carp on ground.


FluEgg modeling of lower St. Croix completed. This model uses hydrology and river morphology to predict if eggs and larvae could survive in the St. Croix, if a spawning event were to occur.

Photos of man on boat with trawling equipment

April 2021

First Modified-Unified Method (MUM) event conducted in Pool 8.

  • 31 silver carp removed in this inaugural MUM event
  • MUMs conducted each spring and fall as conditions allow since April 2021
  • DNR is testing new methods at each event, to try to develop a method that is effective and efficient at capturing invasive carp in low-density populations
  • Partnership with USGS, USFWS, Wisconsin DNR, NPS, Wild Rivers Conservancy
Photos of woman on boat with numerous carp.

December 2020

Invasive Carp Data Dive

  • DNR conducted a review of the status of invasive carp in Minnesota and the current science.
  • This event improved coordination among programs that work on or adjacent to invasive carp prevention efforts.

March 2020

51 invasive carp captured in Pool 8 by commercial fisher

  • Largest single capture to date
  • DNR responded with increased commercial fishing in Pool 8
  • DNR tagged five silver carp to identify preferred habitats
Photos of workers pulling a net on river.

April-May 2019

High water prompts dam gates to open on the Mississippi River. Research suggests that these “open water” periods are often a time when invasive carp move upstream.

March 2019

Final report completed on study of fish passage at Locks and Dams 2 and 8

December 2018

Final report completed on study of feasibility of deterrent at Lock and Dam 5

August 2018

Final report completed on study of Minnesota River. Report details hydrology of the Minnesota River to identify opportunities for management | Minnesota River Final Report

  • Minnesota DNR contracted Minnesota State University-Mankato for this project


First invasive carp tagged by Minnesota DNR.

  • Tagged fish was a bighead carp captured in the St. Croix River just downstream of Stillwater, Minnesota
  • Tagging invasive carp required an amendment to state regulations
  • Tracking data from this fish has been used to remove 7 other invasive carp to date
  • Minnesota DNR continues to tag and track additional invasive carp
Photos of dnr workers tagging a carp.


Minnesota DNR Windom Area Fisheries Office completes installation of five deterrents and barriers to invasive carp movement in Little Sioux River watershed in southwest Minnesota | Report

Photos of construction work on barrier.


Upper Mississippi River Basin states receive first U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grants for invasive carp.

Photo ofmen netting carp on river.

June 2015

Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock permanently closed to prevent invasive carp movement:

  • Prevents movement of invasive carp from Minneapolis to Mississippi headwaters
  • Federal legislation was passed to close this lock.
  • St. Anthony Falls was historically a barrier to fish movement, so this does not alter natural divisions between pools of the Mississippi River.
Photo of St. Anthony Falls Lock

December 2014

Minnesota Invasive Carp Action Plan updated to include additional monitoring, prevention, and response actions. The updated plan was developed by a work group that included state and federal agencies, local governments, the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC), nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and other stakeholders.

July 2012

Minnesota Invasive Carp Monitoring and Response program begins. The invasive carp program monitors the status of invasive carp in Minnesota and conducts targeted removal and response actions by:

  • Working with contacted commercial fishers
  • Conducting sampling for all life stages of invasive carp
  • Monitoring the commercial catch and public reports
  • Tagging and tracking invasive carp to identify movement patterns that can be exploited for capture
  • Evaluating and implementing new management strategies
Photo of man holding a netted carp to a measuring board

July 2012

First Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources-Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (LCCMR-ENRTF) funding for invasive carp. These funds support staffing, equipment, and travel expenses for our invasive carp crew. They are also used to contract commercial fishers for invasive carp removal.

Photos of man holding a silver carp

April 2012

First invasive fish consultant hired by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to lead the state’s invasive fish prevention and control efforts.


Minnesota Invasive Carp Action Plan created. The Action Plan lays out a step-wise approach to assess and minimize the threat posed by bighead, black, grass, and silver carp. Plan elements include: 1) early detection and monitoring of susceptible waters; 2) prevention and deterrence; 3) response preparation; 4) management and control; and 5) outreach and communication.


First silver carp reported in Minnesota; discovered in Pool 8 of the Mississippi River.

drawn illustration of silver carp


First bighead carp reported in Minnesota; discovered in Lake St. Croix.

drawn illustration of bighead carp


First grass carp reported in Minnesota, discovered in a pond near Winona.

drawn illustration of grass carp

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