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Holy Carp! and ZRP Water Ways Speaker series discuss Aquatic Invasive Species

Fri, Feb 22nd, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Two Rochester events, Holy Carp! and ZRP Water Ways Speaker series bring national invasive species expert Dr. Peter Sorensen to discuss Aquatic Invasive Species in March.

Aquatic invasive species, carp, zebra mussels, milfoil and a host of others seem to be coming to a lake or river near you. Individuals of thee different species of invasive Asian Carp have been found in the Minnesota waters of the Upper Mississippi River which has also had zebra mussels since the 1990s. Minnesota lists hundreds of lakes and rivers as “Infested Waters.” In the face of the invasion, awareness and prevention are the best hope for protecting Minnesota’s waters. A lake free of invasive species is still the norm throughout the state but without the help of every boat owner, angler and tourist we won’t be able to stop the spread.

In March two local events, an Improv Comedy show March 9 and a lecture March 14 will feature Dr. Peter Sorensen, Director of the new University of Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) to Rochester. Dr. Sorensen is an internationally-known expert on fish pheromones, how fish smell, and the role smell plays on fish behavior. He has turned his expertise that helped solve the problem of controlling the deadly sea lamprey by identifying their migratory pheromones to Asian Carp and other invasive species.

Dr. Sorensen is the new Director of the UofM St. Paul Campus Research Center, the first such facility in the world devoted to the study of aquatic invasive species. At MAISRC the UofM is assembling a blue-ribbon team of Professors, researchers and students to team up with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, other Colleges and Universities, non-profit groups and citizens to conduct research dedicated on how to address the invasion of aquatic invasive species. Already MAISRC projects are looking at new technologies like bubble and sound Asian Carp barriers, pheromone attractants making it easier to corral and trap invasive fish, and other techniques that don’t affect native species but can kill zebra mussels, faucet snails and invasive plants. Dr. Sorensen’s efforts to determine how best to prevent the spread and how best to manage the invasion is being watched around the world by those concerned about the problems that come when unwanted animal and plant populations displace our native species and spoil our natural waters.

On March 9 the Theater of Public Policy, a Twin Cities improv comedy troupe, will feature Dr. Sorensen and local natural resource expert and co-owner of McGhie & Betts Environmental Services, Inc., Jeff Broberg, in an evening of thought provoking comedy. According to Tane Danger, t2p2 co-founder and self-described “respect-zealot,” “Each show opens with a conversation with well-informed individuals, speaking to a complex issue of broad importance. Our cast of improvisers listens to the conversation, and then bring the ideas and memes to life in real-time on stage, providing the audience a different way to think about an old debate.” A recent show on election politics was promoted as “Poisoning Political Dialogue with Humor and Civility.” The Dr. Sorensen/ t2p2 show will be at Rochester Elks Lodge 1091, Hillcrest Shopping Center, 1652 North Highway 52, Rochester, MN on Saturday March 9. Carp and other delicious snacks prepared by the Canadian Honker will be served at 6PM, the show starts at 7 and local rockers LP & the 45’s will play in the lounge after the show. $18.00 Tickets are available on line for a small service fee at for a small service fee.

On Thursday March 14 Dr. Sorensen will come back to Rochester to give a lecture on aquatic invasive species and the research work at the new UofM Research Center. Hosted by the Zumbro River Partnership’s (ZRP) Water Ways Speaker Series the March 14 will feature Dr. Sorensen’s lecture at Cascade Meadow Wetland and Environmental Science Center, 2900 19th St NW, Rochester, MN starting at 6:30PM. The lecture is free and open to the public.

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