The entire Minnesota River is being added to the state’s Infested Waters List.
The DNR says the entire river is being listed because zebra mussels have now been confirmed in a western stretch of the Minnesota and there’s no significant barrier that could prevent its spread downstream.
Based on individual captures in 2016 and 2017, the Minnesota River will also be added to the Infested Waters List for bighead carp and grass carp from Granite Falls to the confluence with the Mississippi River.
The inclusion on the Infested Waters List means the Minnesota River will be managed differently by the DNR when it comes to activities like bait harvest, commercial fishing, and water use.
Zebra mussels can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut the feet of swimmers, reduce the performance of boat motors, and cause expensive damage to water intake pipes.
Invasive carp can compete with native species for food, dramatically reduce aquatic vegetation and diminish water quality.