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Sep 05

Invasive Carp

Posted on September 5, 2017 at 4:53 PM by Ryan Hiniker


Drainage update 9/5/2017


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

(Northern and Southern Petitions) Official bid awarding will be part of the September 12, 2017, Board of Commissioners meeting.

JD34 Official bid awarding will also be held on September 12, 2017, at the Board of Commissioners meeting.

More information on the board meeting will be posted on the county's website once the agenda is finalized.


Project Updates


  • JD09 (LeRay Twp.) The public bidding period has closed.  Both the northern improvement and southern improvement projects will be formally awarded next Tuesday.  The official bid awarding will be part of the Board of Commissioners meeting next week.
  • JD34 (LeRay Twp.)  The public bidding period for this improvement project is closed.  This improvement project will be officially awarded next Tuesday at the Board of Commissioners meeting.


 Invasive Carp:

We (Blue Earth County Drainage Authority) are joining forces with Waseca County to help stop the spreading of invasive carp species.  Bighead, silver and Grass Carp are three types of invasive carp species that are quickly making their way into many waterways in southern Minnesota.  Silver Carp are also known as the jumping carp, that jump out of the water when they are stressed by noise or vibration.

Our two counties are working with the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) to slow this spread of carp.  Invasive carp have been found in the Minnesota River near New Ulm.  The Minnesota River has a direct connection to the Le Sueur River.  Madison Lake and Elysian Lake watersheds are directly connected to Le Sueur River.  Think of how quickly they could spread from our larger lakes to smaller streams and lakes.  The DNR has come up with a plan of action to help slow the spreading of these invasive carp species.  Electric fish barriers are being installed in two separate locations to help prevent the spreading of carp to both the Madison Lake and Elysian Lake watersheds. 

The electric fish barriers send an electronic current through the water that immobilizes the carp that are trying to swim upstream.  The immobilized fish then floats back downstream.  This is a fairly new practice for the DNR, but they have had good success using this same system on other areas of the state, including Jackson County.  The fish are temporally immobilized by the electrical current. There will be one of these structures installed on the upstream side of the bridge crossing over the Mayhew Creek (JD11 ditch) on the east side of the bridge.  The east side of the bridge is actually Waseca County, but after much engineering by the DNR, the site was chosen.

This fish barrier structure is possible through an agreement with the DNR and the landowner where the concrete structure will be built.  There is concrete poured that has electric rods that will emit electricity through the water stopping the fish from swimming upstream.  The DNR doesn’t have a long history of how effective these electric barriers systems are, but they are very hopeful that this will be yet another tool in the toolbox for slowing down or stopping the migration of these invasive carp species. 

The carp actually do a lot of damage to the ecosystem of a lake or watershed.  They stir up the mud on the bottom and breed intensely, almost choking out other fish species.  The structure will not affect the flow of the creek or drainage system, just hopefully stop the invasive carp from spreading.  Picture one is the approximate site map of the new proposed structure.  Picture two is an example of what a similar electric fish barrier structure may look like.

fish barrier 
elect. fish Example of electric fish barrier.


Recent Drainage Inspections – week of August 28 – September 1:


  • CD56 (Garden City& Lincoln Twp.) Contractor and crew have been slowly working on getting the open ditch cleaning done.  As of Friday, September 1, the open ditch cleaning was done.  We still have outlet structures and slough areas to fix up, as well as spreading of spoils and seeding to do.  Seeding of buffers in the City of Lake Crystal should start very soon.  Some preparation work will be done before seeding.
  • JD45 (Mapleton Twp.) Parts came in and the contractor made necessary repairs.  See Picture belownew intake
  • CD86 (Decoria Twp.)  We are still waiting to receive word from a person we have contracted to trap the beaver, to see if the DNR will grant him a temporary permit to trap beaver out of season.  The beaver needs to be removed before removing the dam they built in our county ditch.  If you just tear out the dam, the beavers will often just rebuild it again, sometimes in the same area. 




Please call with issues you observe on our public drainage system, as there is a lot of open ditch and tile in our county and only two of us in the drainage department.  We will do our absolute best to service your issues and concerns as we receive them.


We require that all repairs to a county drainage system (tile or open ditch) be authorized by one us in the drainage office, either Craig or myself, before any repairs are made.




Ryan Hiniker

Drainage Management Specialist