Bigheaded carps risk assessment findings announced
MAISRC researchers have announced the findings of the Minnesota Bigheaded Carps Risk Assessment. It was found that of the four watersheds examined, the Minnesota River-Mankato watershed is most at risk from bigheaded carps.
For each watershed, researchers estimated the likelihood that bigheaded carps would establish and assessed the resulting severity of impacts on game fish, non-game fish, species diversity/ecosystem resilience, and recreation quality (from the silver carp jumping hazard).
Overall, the risk varied greatly, depending on the watershed and potential adverse effect considered. The severity of impact was likely to be higher for species diversity/ecosystem resilience and recreation quality.
These findings support the need for a timely and reasoned response to the threats posed by bigheaded carps. Specific implications include:
- Management should be prioritized for the Minnesota River-Mankato and the Lower St. Croix River watersheds
- Potential management actions need to be evaluated to ensure that any collateral damage to native species is less harmful than the invasion would be
- Strengthening native ecosystems is encouraged to offset impacts of bigheaded carps
Project leaders Dr. Dave Andow and Dr. Adam Kokotovich hosted a workshop to discuss these findings and their implications. Approximately 50 people attended, including representatives from state and federal agencies, local units of government, and stakeholder groups. Through small and large group discussions, participants provided feedback on the draft risk assessment report and discussed the management implications of the risk assessment. Feedback from this meeting was used to inform the final version of the report, which is now available. Read the final report here.