Rice Beds Rebound In Northern Wisconsin Lake Following Efforts To Rein In Carp

Resurgence Of Bluegill, Reseeding Efforts Have Also Helped Resurgence Of Rice-Producing Grasses

USFW Midwest (CC-BY).

The St. Croix tribe in northern Wisconsin is seeing a recovery of wild rice beds on Clam Lake, thanks in part to efforts to reduce the number of common carp there.

Tony Havranek is the Ojibwe tribe’s former land and resources manager and now serves as a consultant on the project, which he said is a joint effort of state, local and tribal agencies. He said wild rice beds on the lake had dwindled from 300 acres to 84, preventing rice harvests.

“Last year when we mapped wild rice beds, we were back up to about 170 acres of wild rice. The majority of the rice is located in the south end of the lake, where we had put net barriers to keep carp out,” he said.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Havranek said the rice growing behind the nets this year is the best he’s seen yet. He said around 400,000 pounds of carp have been removed from wild rice areas there. That effort, combined with reseeding and a resurgence of bluegill — a predator of the invasive carp — has gone a long way toward helping the rice beds.