New Tests Don't Find Asian Carp DNA in St. Croix or Mississippi

Updated: 04/04/2013 7:37 PM KSTP.com By: Tim Sherno

Results of a new more accurate study released today show no signs of bighead or silver carp DNA in the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers.

Steve Hirsch, Director of the Ecological and Water Resource Division of the Minnesota DNR says test results in 2011 were troubling, "It raised the level of concern because we got all these positive hits for silver carp up and down the river."

A new round of tests were done in 2012.  Peter Sorensen is the Director of the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota, he says the 2012 tests were more precise, "Vastly more sophisticated. And definitive. Truly definitive."

Sorensen says the researchers repeated the 2011 study, "We went back to exactly the same sites, exactly the same time of year, and collector the water samples and exactly the same way. What we did differently was use a much more definitive analytical technique."

And according to Sorensen, "The data from 2012 failed to measure any Asian carp DNA present in the same waters they were measured in or seem to be measured in 2011." Sorrensen points out that even though the tests did not find DNA, carp are known to be in the rivers, "Clearly there are some fishermen have been catching them. But the numbers are seemingly low. And not measurable by this particular technique."

Steve Hirsch from the DNR says in spite of the new test results, the effort to slow or stop the invasive species is still a high priority, "This is an urgent issue, we may have more time than we thought we had in 2011, but I don't think we can assume we have got a lot of time to deal with this issue."