MICRA member agencies are actively implementing management and control actions to reduce the spread and abundance of four species of invasive carp that are established and expanding their range within the Mississippi River Basin. MICRA member agencies participated in the development of the Management and Control Plan for Bighead, Black, Grass, and Silver Carps in the United States (National Plan) led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in the mid-2000s. Following approval of the National Plan for implementation by the national Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force in 2007, MICRA has been working to coordinate implementation of the National Plan throughout the Mississippi River Basin. MICRA also coordinates invasive carp management and control activities in the Mississippi River Basin with the Invasive Carp Regional Coordinating Committee’s efforts to prevent invasive carp from becoming established in the Great Lakes.
MICRA formed an Invasive Carp Advisory Committee (ICAC) to coordinate the planning and execution of collaborative actions to prevent, detect, and control invasive carp populations in the Mississippi River Basin. The ICAC is a collaborative team of Federal and State agencies established to provide oversight and coordination of multijurisdictional actions through the development and implementation of regional Invasive Carp Control Strategy Frameworks that step-down implementation of the National Plan to the sub-basin level. Multi-agency partnerships and Frameworks have been developed for the entire Mississippi River Basin and include: Upper Mississippi River Sub-Basin, Ohio River Sub-Basin, Missouri River Sub-Basin, and the Lower Mississippi River Sub-Basin.
On June 10, 2014, the United States Congress, in Section 1039 (b) of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA), charged the USFWS, to work in coordination with the Secretary of the Army, the Director of the National Park Service (NPS), and the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to lead a multiagency effort to slow, and eventually eliminate, the spread of invasive carp in the Ohio River Basin and Upper Mississippi River Basin. The Ohio River Basin and Upper Mississippi River Basin states requested that the USFWS coordinate these multi-agency efforts through the existing MICRA partnership.
Beginning in FY2015, Congress appropriated funding in the USFWS’s budget for invasive carp prevention and control in the Ohio River Basin and Upper Mississippi River Basin, providing the first substantial funding to address invasive carp populations in the Mississippi River Basin. The USFWS provides a portion of the agency’s invasive carp funding directly to the Ohio River Basin and Upper Mississippi River Basin states to support implementation of the highest priority project needs identified in the sub-basin Frameworks.
MICRA works closely with the multi-agency partnerships in the Ohio River and Upper Mississippi River sub-basins to develop an annual Monitoring and Response Plan and annual project reports for USFWS funded projects in the Mississippi River Basin. All plans and reports are available here.