ROBBINSDALE, Minn. — Creatures of the night vary at Crystal Lake in Robbinsdale, and on Tuesday night going into Wednesday morning, the party included humans.
Jordan Wein and his team from WSB, an environmental consulting firm, geared up for the hunt. They put on waders and sprayed themselves down with bug spray.
"It's kind of like an arms race with these guys," Wein said. "They come up with a strategy to avoid what we have, and we come up with a new strategy to outsmart them in a different way."
The recipe this time around is silence, and complete darkness. Wein and his team take the common carp by surprise, by lifting the nets they had set out, days prior.
"Common carp are really bad for water quality, especially in large numbers," Wein said, who is an environmental scientist. "First step you find out how many you have, if that amount of carp for the area of the lake is above a certain threshold, then we recommend coming in and removing as many as you can."
Brought in by immigrants from Europe more than a hundred years ago, common carp are harmful to the native species of Minnesota fish in lakes, according to Wein.
They're also incredibly hardy.
"They find ways to move through almost no water," Wein said. "So I mean, basically--I heard a professor once say, if a drop of rain falls, carp can move through it. That makes it really tough, because obviously in Minnesota, our watersheds are connected by little creeks and swamps and marshes and that makes it a great place for these guys to thrive."
So when a population gets out of hand, cities like Robbinsdale call guys like Jordan and Bo to take them out, and haul them away.
The method is usually fool-proof when it comes to avoiding catching other fish. Although they get surprises like an occasional snapping turtle, here and there.
"We get some fun stuff in our nets, but no other fish other than carp so, it will be just fine," Wein said, as he released a snapping turtle back into the water.
As for the slimy, unlucky bunch of carp, they get hauled away to a composting facility during the summer. During the winter, sometimes they are sold as food.
These guys will get turned into compost," Wein said. "We've been told that the compost is getting turned really well and they're getting fertilized for orchards."
Give a man a day and he'll fish hundreds of carp out of the water.
But nature will have you know, it's not an easy one to outsmart, at least, not overnight.
"Really you just have to have as many options as possible to keep chipping away," Wein said. "And after a bit, you'll get that population down and they'll be smarter and smarter to different techniques."
Wein said the project of culling the carp population to acceptable levels at Crystal Lake will take a few more attempts.