PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says an invasive fish species has been found in the Wisconsin River.
Four bighead carp captured near the Prairie du Sac dam are the latest sign of Asian carp presence in the state, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The department also found a fifth fish dead on the shore.
The fish were discovered during the department’s routine surveys of the sturgeon population.
Lower Wisconsin and the Mississippi River have seen bighead carp since 1996. But the fish haven’t been found in inland lakes, the department said.
The department’s fisheries experts believe the carp that were found strayed from larger fish populations south of Wisconsin and aren’t part of an established population in the state. The fish likely reached the Wisconsin River when the water was high in the spring and summer, said Nate Nye, a fisheries biologist with the agency.
Bighead and silver carp compete with native fish species. They eat large quantities of phytoplankton, zooplankton and algae, which can disrupt the food source for all fish in an area.