DNR Looks at New Ways to Combat Carp


Researchers in La Crosse hope to test a new strategy to control the Asian carp. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Geological Survey held an informational session Wednesday night to see if the public approves of the newest tool to manage invasive species.

USGS researchers want to see if high tech water guns and underwater speakers can control Asian carp. This technology has been for around awhile, but it has not been used to control invasive species.

Although the outdoor research pond at the La Crosse USGS facility does not have Asian carp in it yet, researchers have begun testing the water guns. “It’s a really low tone. I mean it’s almost like a thud.”

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DNR Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator Bob Wakeman says it does not sound threatening. He says the hope is that the pressure and sound create a barrier, allowing people to stop or corral the Asian carp. “It could be put them in an area where we can net them easier. Or perhaps use a fish toxicant that would kill them in a very concentrated area. So there’s any number of possibilities how this technology can be used.”

The DNR has to issue a permit allowing USGS to possess the Asian carp necessary for the research. La Crosse County Conservation Alliance’s John Wetzel presented the only public comment at the session. He wants the DNR to approve the permit so USGS can move forward on the research. “I think this is very important research to begin this to learn how they’re going to react to some of the sound or some of the water jets they would use.”

The DNR is accepting public comments on the matter until next Friday.