Twin Cities WRS Seminar

Aquatic Invasive Species: Bridging the Management Gap


Kasey Rundquist
Water Resources Science Graduate Student

October 16, 2020


Lake management is an intricate and complex process that includes quite an array of disciplines. The many fields involved in lake management can be reflective of the interdisciplinary process that brings a wide variety of stakeholders together to help preserve freshwater resources. One element of lake management is aquatic invasive species (AIS).

Common carp are a well-established invasive species across the world and in Minnesota. It has often been speculated that common carp increase total phosphorus levels in lakes. Existing studies regarding the accuracy of this speculation are often in disagreement. To further understand the carp and phosphorus relationship, this research examined ambient phosphorus levels before and after carp management in Minnesota using existing data. Results seem to suggest that the carp and total phosphorus relationship would be worth exploring further.

To promote additional understanding of AIS and how it relates to lake management, three social aspects were assessed. Values and behaviors of lake recreationists in Minnesota were measured using on-site surveys, which were administered at public access points on four Minnesota lakes. There has not been much of a focus in current literature regarding values and behaviors of recreationists concerning AIS. Results appear to indicate that there are values with a strong relationship to behavior.

The results indicate that the findings for both components of this research warrant further exploration, with significant discoveries in both studies. Also, this research illuminates that there is a need for additional collaboration in future studies. Implications from this research outline the inter-disciplinary nature of lake management and demonstrate how biological and social sciences are contributions to a much larger framework with regards to lake management.