ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Fitted with electrofishing equipment, the boat eased into the cattails along North St. Paul's Casey Lake, two University of Minnesota technicians standing at the bow with dip nets ready to scoop up stunned common carp.
In short order, they did, plopping them into a pail so that small radio tags could be inserted into the largest ones, enabling researchers to track their movements.
That outing, on a recent sunny afternoon, was just one of a half-dozen ways university scientists are researching one of the state's most vexing creatures. Brought to Minnesota in the 19th century, common carp have taken over thousands of shallow lakes and wetlands, rooting on the bottom for food and turning many of them into mud holes that no longer sustain ducks and other species.
Now, though, relief could be on the way.