Minnesota is heralded as The Land of 10,000 Lakes.
This is no exaggeration; there are 11, 842 lakes over 10 acres in size. Not to mention the vast, deep and cold Lake Superior. Those waters, together with forests, parks, and wilderness areas, offer Minnesotans a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities.
These lakes and rivers are part of what makes Minnesota special.
Unfortunately, Minnesota is at the front lines in fighting the upstream march of the invasive Asian carp in the Mississippi River.
While several Asian carp have been caught in Minnesota already, with the most recent catch just south of the Twin Cities last month, there is still time to protect Minnesota’s natural resources, economy and quality of life.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington:
I traveled to DC two weeks ago to testify in front of the U.S. House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs about the urgent threat of carp. You can read…and even watch…my testimony here.
What did I tell Congress in a nutshell? Closing the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock in Minneapolis is the best way to stop the carp from moving further upstream.
Don’t listen just to me….Dennis Anderson with the Star Tribune thinks we should close the locks as well.
But what does the general public in Minnesota think about closing the locks? Well, according to a new poll released today by the National Wildlife Federation and partners in the Stop Carp Coalition, 63% of Minnesotans support closing the lock to stop the invasive fish.
Highlights of the poll:
1) Most Minnesota voters are familiar with Asian carp. 6 in 10 voters report having heard a lot (32%) or some (31%) about “a fish called the Asian carp,” while another 22% say they have heard a little, and only 15% have not heard of Asian carp at all;
2) Minnesotans are concerned about Asian carp invading the state. 93% of voters would be concerned if the Asian carp got into the lakes and rivers throughout Minnesota; and
3) Voters support lock closure to prevent the spread of Asian carp. There are high and bipartisan levels of support for closing the locks to prevent the spread of carp. As stated above: 63% favor a proposal to “create a physical barrier to stop the carp by closing the locks, or gates, in the Mississippi river in Minneapolis, ” including majorities of Democrats (66%), Republicans (66%), and independents (59%).