March 15 workshop to discuss Minnesota Bigheaded carps risk assessment findings, management next steps
MAISRC researchers have completed a multifaceted, deliberative risk assessment for bigheaded (both silver and bighead) carps in Minnesota waters, the findings from which will be unveiled and discussed at an upcoming workshop.
The risk assessment included analysis by dozens of leaders in the field, including invasive carp researchers and managers from states where bigheaded carp are already established. The risk assessment focused on four watersheds – Minnesota River-Mankato, Nemadji River, Sand Hill River, and the Lower St. Croix River – and characterized the likelihood that bigheaded carps would establish there if introduced. The risk assessment also characterized the likely resulting abundance of carps in each watershed and the severity of potential adverse effects. Of all the potential adverse impacts from an invasion, the risk assessment concluded that the greatest threats are to gamefish, non-game fish, species diversity, and recreation.
“Conducting a risk assessment like this is important because people can sometimes get caught up either feeling apathetic or fearful when it comes to a complex problem like invasive species,” said researcher Adam Kokotovich. “We need to take a step back and really evaluate potential impacts in order to inform reasoned decision-making.”
The workshop provides an opportunity to hear the full findings of the risk assessment from the project’s lead researchers, and, equally important, an opportunity to discuss the implications of the findings with a broad group of stakeholders, decision-makers, researchers, resource managers and interested members of the public. Registration is free, but space is limited and RSVP is required. For more information about research on bigheaded carps at MAISRC, please click here.