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would closing the Minneapolis Lock make sense?


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I got to wondering about what goes through the Minneapolis Locks and whether the threat of invasives getting past the lock was offset by the amount of commerce that use the lock.

I started here: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/ofrw/waterways.html

The table shows that there has been a significant reduction in the amount of material going through the lock over the past seven years. this table didn't come out properlu

Annual Minnesota River Port Tonnage

Port 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005

Minneapolis 645,445 592,404 545,840 781,155 795,372 1,069,238 1,024,877

St. Paul 5,247,992 5,160,120 5,071,864 3,469,383 5,126,732 5,511,445 5,462,801

Savage 1,844,711 2,411,361 2,777,677 1,705,650 3,201,406 3,214,351 3,018,613

Red Wing 924,060 807,021 735,417 631,870 851,692 920,610 787,883

Winona 1,969,712 1,922,462 1,672,630 1,573,239 2,099,746 2,204,375 2,008,029

Total 10,631,920 10,893,368 10,803,428 8,160,297 12,074,948 12,920,019 12,302,203

Then you can check out who uses the lock by going here: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/ofrw/PDF/2011RiverTerminals.pdf

You find that two companies, Northern Metal Recycling and River Services Inc. are the firms that ship through the lock. Northern recycles metal and River Services deals in fertilizer, coal and aggregate. Both are just downstream from the Lowry Avenue Bridge. There is a rail spur leading into the River Services facility.

I don’t know anything else about these companies. To answer the question about whether the lock should be closed and these two businesses left to surface transportation there are questions that have to be answered. How many people do they employ? What would be the result if they lost their river shipping access? What would be the impact to other companies if these two lost their river access? If they closed?

Then you have to ask what the impact to Minnesota would be if the invasive carp species made it past the lock and infested all the waters that are connected to the Mississippi. Would closing the lock be the most effective way of stopping the invasives from getting into the rest of the watershed?

Curious to know what others thing about it.

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Wow... that's a pretty big reduction in recent years coming through Minneapolis.

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As much as it Suks for me as I fish all the MPLS dam areas. I think it probably makes sense to close at least the St Anthonys down in order to possibly protect the lakes/waters in Northern Minnesota.

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I think i mentioned this awhile ago in one of the Asian carp threads, close off St Anthony and and how do the carp get above the dam besides transportation? They aren't gonna jump up those falls thats for sure and if the only other way up there is the lock that should really drop the possibility of them moving up stream further.

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I think of all the invasives the asian carp are the biggest problem.

I however also don't think they will close the locks as there was a lawsuit that tried to close the locks in Illinois to prevent the carp from getting into the great lakes. That lawsuit was lost and the locks remain open.

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I'm not sure you can read too much into the fall off in traffic starting in 2008. It could be the result of the ecomony which would rebound at some point.

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Quote:
Curious to know what others thing about it

I think we should stop selling cigerettes...Cut down on lung cancer

I think we should stop selling alcohol......Cut down on liver disease and DWI's

I think we should stop selling big macs.....Cut down on obesity

I think we should back the speed limit down...Save on Gas/Oil

It seems like lately everything has to be one sided. They should stay open as commerce and jobs and economics depends on it. However other means should be looked at to control the fish. This not a simple clear cut case...And for petes sakes folks, ITS A FISH!!!!!!!!

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Curious to know what others thing about it

I think we should stop selling cigerettes...Cut down on lung cancer

I think we should stop selling alcohol......Cut down on liver disease and DWI's

I think we should stop selling big macs.....Cut down on obesity

I think we should back the speed limit down...Save on Gas/Oil

It seems like lately everything has to be one sided. They should stay open as commerce and jobs and economics depends on it. However other means should be looked at to control the fish. This not a simple clear cut case...And for petes sakes folks, ITS A FISH!!!!!!!!

Good point.

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Look at the revenue created by those compnaies using it and compare it to the revenue created by the tourism/fishing industry coming out of the lakes connected to the Miss. If it makes sense in the long run, then yes, close it.

Chasineyes - Care to take a ride down the Illinios river with me later?

0106-AILLINOISCARP-Asian-Carp-Great-Lake

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was any of the decrease in traffic in Minneapolis due to the I35 bridge falling? Perhaps that forced these companies to find alternative means and they just never reverted back to using the river?

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They are run by the Federal Government.

They are not going to close them because the State of MN wants to stop AIS.

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Look at the revenue created by those compnaies using it and compare it to the revenue created by the tourism/fishing industry coming out of the lakes connected to the Miss. If it makes sense in the long run, then yes, close it.

Chasineyes - Care to take a ride down the Illinios river with me later?

0106-AILLINOISCARP-Asian-Carp-Great-Lake

So if the upstream damage to economy is greater than damage to the economy from shutting it down then we should close it?

I think all points are moot as RRR said Army Corp of Engineers (FEDS) run it. All state lawsuits have failed so far.

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The genie is out of the bottle. We are not going to be stuffing it back in there.

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They should close it. It has made fiscal sense for many years to do this even before the invasive species issue.

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Quote:
Chasineyes - Care to take a ride down the Illinios river with me later?

Sure. Can I bring a shotgun!!!

Seriously though isn't that like saying...Care to come to the emergency room when a motorcyclists smashed their brain in without wearing a helmet?

Or when they do a lung transplant on a major smoker??

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Look at the revenue created by those compnaies using it and compare it to the revenue created by the tourism/fishing industry coming out of the lakes connected to the Miss. If it makes sense in the long run, then yes, close it.

+1. Does anyone have a figure on fishing/boating revenue in MN? I bet the number would be downright staggering.

Unfortunately the carp have already moved past this correct? I thought they had gotten all the way up to Coon Rapids now. Even some evidence that carp had gotten beyond CR. If we were going to act to close the lock, which I would not oppose, it should have been done years ago.

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DNA samples show DNA at coon rapids and above i believe but i don't think anyone has caught one or found one above yet.

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According to the spring update from the Nature Conservancy fishing supports 43,000 jobs and generates $2.8 billion in direct annual expenditures.

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A questions that nobody will specifically address... how much does lock closure reduce the risk of Asian carp spreading to other areas of MN?

If fish get upstream of Upper St. Anthony Falls, they quickly hit Coon Rapids Dam. That dam is not a barrier 100% of the time, but still fairly effective. With the new State funding and planned renovations to Coon Rapids Dam, the ability to block fish further increases. Still not a "100%" barrier, but would stop fish under all but fairly significant floods (somewhere it's cited the improvements would be 99% effective).

Even if fish get past Coon Rapids Dam, how far can they get? There are several high dams from St. Cloud to Brainerd that will stop fish migration, so Asian carp would not be able to make it up the headwaters area. They would be stopped at St. Cloud. With that limitation, what resources are effected? It wouldn't be Leech, Winnie, Itasca, or many of the lakes I hear cited.

One key tributary that enters the Mississippi between Coon Rapids and St. Cloud is the Rum River which flows from Mille Lacs. Obviously that's a big concern. But.... there is also a dam near the mouth of the Rum River in Anoka. That may not be 100% effective, but it would be nice to know what the conditions would be that would allow upstream fish migration past that obstruction (how frequently is that dam passable to fish?).

It's also uncertain how well these fish may survive even if the get past these barriers.

So... while closing the locks may seem like an obvious and simple solution to protect Minnesota's multi-billion dollar sportfishing industry... I'm really not all that convinced what exactly we would be protecting. Closing the locks is NOT going to keep Asian carp out of large areas of MN. Asian carp can't get to many of these areas on their own.

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River Services Inc. leases the property from the city of Minneapolis and their contract terms (years) keep getting smaller and smaller. The city has really big plans to turn this area into condos , including the other business that was named. Over the years the EPA has made it so hard for RSI to continue a lot of the product that was coming up river in barges (salt, oil, potash, pig iron, aggregate, dap fertilizer, map ferilizer and urea) . The rail spur that goes into RSI is in complete disrepair and the only commodity the comes up in barges to be off loaded is steel and coal, there may be one or two others. It used to be that grain would come in by rail and loaded into barges but not any more. If the lock were to be shut down, so would RSI as the trucks would pick up from a port down river from RSI.Just thought I'd throw a little info out there for those of you that wanted to know. I think the NSP uses the river for coal as well.

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I must be missing something. In my mind I can picture the CR dam and the St. Cloud dam as well as the anoka dam, so how could the carp physically get past these barriers? I know they leap out of the water, but not enough to vault over those dams. To me that would leave 2 other options, transported by humans above the dams or by birds.

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I must be missing something. In my mind I can picture the CR dam and the St. Cloud dam as well as the anoka dam, so how could the carp physically get past these barriers? I know they leap out of the water, but not enough to vault over those dams. To me that would leave 2 other options, transported by humans above the dams or by birds.

You would need a flood to raise downstream water elevations to a height close to upstream water elevations. How frequently that might happen depends on dam height.

Some have said that silver carp (the one's that jump) could leap over dams if upstream water elevations are within several feet (similar to salmon leaping over rapids). However, it's not clear if silvers leap only as a flight response, or if they would actually leap as a form of migration. Not sure biologists have documented silvers leaping to aid migration, but that's not to say it couldn't happen.

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I know they have a plan to turn the Coon Rapids dam into a barrier so the fish cannot get through. I do not know what is involved but it is thought to be too expensive.

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