Six Mile Creek carp assessment

Minnehaha Creek Watershed District partnered with MAISRC in 2014 to obtain a better understanding of common carp in the Six Mile Creek subwatershed to inform sustainable control strategies. This project was recommended after a diagnostic study identified common carp as one of the major drivers of its poor water quality.

The goal of this project was to determine the abundance, seasonal movements, and recruitment patterns of common carp to develop control strategies. This subwatershed is a particularly complex series of interconnected lakes, ponds, and wetlands, making it different from previous carp control study locations. It is also highly degraded and devoid of submersed native plants in many segments – mostly attributable to common carp.

By May 2017, three field seasons of data collection were completed and revealed that the total biomass of carp in the Six Mile Creek subwatershed is approximately five times greater than a threshold value previously identified to cause severe ecological impacts in Midwestern lakes. The study also identified areas in the subwatershed where carp have reproduced successfully in recent years, indicating that the carp population is presently growing.

Specific goals and possible management strategies vary by management unit and are detailed in the management section of the final report.