Closing the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock will help prevent invasive carp, which outcompete native fish and threaten the state’s recreation and fishing industries, from reaching world-class fisheries connected to the Mississippi River
Klobuchar authored a provision requiring the closure of the lock, which was sponsored by Ellison in the House; Provision became law in June 2014 and the lock is officially closing today
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and Representative Keith Ellison announced that the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock is officially closing today under their legislation to protect Minnesota waterways from invasive carp. Invasive carp can eat between 20 and 120 percent of their body weight each day, outcompeting native fish and threatening recreation and fishing industries. Closing the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock will help prevent invasive carp from reaching Mille Lacs Lake, Gull Lake, and other world-class fisheries connected to the Mississippi River. Klobuchar authored a provision, which was sponsored by Ellison in the House, requiring the lock be closed to help fight the spread of invasive carp. The provision was included in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), which passed with bipartisan support and was signed into law in June 2014. The provision to close the lock was cosponsored by Senator Franken and by Representatives Erik Paulsen, Tim Walz, and Rick Nolan.
“Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but we don’t want it to turn into the land of one million carp,” Klobuchar said. “Invasive carp not only have the potential to seriously harm Minnesota’s environment, they also threaten the recreation and fishing industries that play a key role in our state’s economy. I have long fought to stop the spread of invasive carp, and today’s closure of the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock is an enormous step forward in our efforts to protect our waterways from this damaging species.”
“Invasive carp threaten Minnesota’s natural resources, our economy and our way of life,” Ellison said. “The closing of the little-used St. Anthony Falls Lock is a critical first step towards stopping the spread of invasive carp in our state. I’m proud the delegation—senators, representatives, Republicans and Democrats—worked together to close the lock and protect the waterways that are so vital to life in Minnesota.”
Klobuchar introduced the Upper Mississippi Conservation and River Protection Act in February 2013, which was sponsored by Ellison in the House. The bill contained similar provisions to those that were included in WRRDA to close the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and would direct federal agencies to partner with Minnesota on efforts to root out invasive carp infestations. The provision to close the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock was supported by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Audubon Minnesota, 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.
Klobuchar is a leader in helping to fight the spread of invasive carp. She also cosponsored an additional amendment to WRRDA in the Senate to help create a coordinated federal response to the invasive carp threat, enabling the federal government to work more effectively with state and local entities to help fight the spread of the invasive species in waterways around the country. In 2012, Klobuchar worked to pass the bipartisan Stop Invasive Species Act, which required the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to present Congress with a report on potential strategies to help prevent invasive carp from entering the Great Lakes. After the Army Corps released the report in 2014, Klobuchar called on the Army Corps to implement short-term measures to help keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes and move aggressively toward a long-term solution.
This Congress, Klobuchar helped introduce the bipartisan Defending Our Great Lakes Act to stop the spread of invasive carp from entering the Great Lakes by giving federal agencies the authority they need to take actions to curb the spread of invasive carp. She was recently named vice-chair of the U.S. Senate Great Lakes Task Force, a bipartisan working group that advocates for the protection of the Great Lakes.