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Six Mile - Halsted Bay Carp Management Study

Project Status: 
Two researchers looking for a tag on a carp
About this project: 

In the first step toward sustainably managing common carp throughout the Six Mile Creek chain of lakes west of Lake Minnetonka, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) and the University of Minnesota have begun a multi-year assessment to determine the abundance of common carp, how these carp move within and between lakes, and to identify the sources of young carp. 

Common carp are likely a key cause of poor water quality in the Six Mile chain, which begins at Pierson Lake in Laketown Township and flows 12 miles north through several lakes before entering Halsted Bay on the western end of Lake Minnetonka. Halsted Bay's water quality grade (D) is among the worst in Lake Minnetonka. Carp decrease water clarity and quality by stirring up lake bottoms and removing vegetation while feeding, thus upsetting the delicate balance of lakes.   

Because carp can reproduce at a young age, spawn millions of eggs per year, and are long lived, periodic removal of carp is usually not a sustainable solution. The study will use radio-telemetry tags implanted in carp, population surveys, and other techniques to get a detailed understanding of the abundance, movement patterns, and reproductive patterns of these damaging fish. The study will last for three open water seasons and will help the MCWD and its partners develop a long-term, sustainable carp management plan. 

Dr. Peter Sorensen, a professor at the University of Minnesota who heads the project with researcher Justine Koch  has conducted similar studies in Minnesota and around the world that have led to long-term reductions in carp populations. He presented on some of the studies at the 2012 MN AIS Symposium, hosted by the MCWD. 

Read more about our habitat restoration efforts in Six Mile Creek - Halsted Bay.