In an effort to keep invasive carp populations in check, the Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District recently stocked 3,400 bluegill fish in three wetlands connected to Spring Lake and Upper Prior Lake. Bluegills are voracious eaters with an appetite for carp eggs, and they were stocked in connected wetlands where carp have been known to spawn.

Common carp are a non-native species that can lower water quality as a result of their bottom feeding habits which stir up the muck in the lake bottom and uproot beneficial plants. Stocking bluegills will help reduce the reproductive success of the carp and keep their numbers down in Spring and Upper Prior Lakes, contributing to cleaner, clearer water for the community to enjoy.

These stocking efforts were made possible by contributions from the Prior Lake Association, Spring Lake Association and the Prior Lake Rotary Club. Members from the lake associations were on hand during the stocking events to assist with the efforts, helping to both mark the bluegills for future surveys and to transport the fish to the wetlands, bucket by bucket.

Bluegill stocking forms just one part of the Watershed District’s larger carp management program which uses a number of control methods in concert to reduce the carp populations. These methods include tracking carp locations and populations, blocking carp from their spawning areas, and removing carp by netting, electrofishing, trapping and other methods.

“We appreciate the close working relationship the Prior Lake Association has with the watershed district and the efforts they continue to make regarding water quality and controlling the carp population,” said Adam Proehl, PLA board president.

The Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District will also be stocking walleyes in Spring and Prior Lakes this fall in coordination with the DNR. These efforts will also be supported by the donations from PLA, SLA and Prior Lake Rotary Club.

For more information on the district’s carp management program, visit www.plslwd.org.

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