By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Representative Erik Paulsen sent a bipartisan letter to the Council on Environmental Quality this week calling for increased efforts to prevent the introduction of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. The members urged Asian Carp Director John Goss to focus resources on upgrading the Coon Rapids Dam, which has been identified by federal agencies and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as an effective way to prevent Asian carp from spreading in the Upper Mississippi River watershed.
“Minnesota is blessed with thriving outdoor recreation and fishing industries that contribute $4 billion annually to the state’s economy. But the spread of the carp to Minnesota’s northern lakes and streams could have a disastrous economic and ecological impact and could lead to an introduction into the Great Lakes,” wrote the members in the letter.
Asian carp can weigh more than 100 pounds and grow to a length of more than four feet. They are well-suited to the climate of the Great Lakes region, which is similar to their native Asian habitat, and have already been found as far north as Hastings.