A Minnesota girl, 11, chases after a giant carp and catches it with bare hands

A young girl catches a huge carp with her bare hands in the shallow waters of Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota.

Maddie Friese, an avid 11-year-old fisherman, regularly participates in children’s fishing tournaments, from lakes and rivers to ice fishing. Michael’s Frieze was on a family day out of Lake Minnetonka when Maddie spotted a huge fish near where they were in the shallows.

Diana Friese, Maddie’s mother, told Fox 9, “She started running in the water, chasing him. Then she dived under the water, grabbed him by the tail, swung around to get away from her, and she ran away.” She sank under the water again and hugged a big bear around her and picked it up out of the water.”

Stock image: common carp.
iStock/Getty Images Plus

Freese estimated that the carp weighed about 45 pounds, about half the weight of the average 11-year-old girl. The giant fish was released back into the lake after Maddie took some proud photos with her catch.

Lake Minnetonka, which is an average of 30 feet deep and located in central Minnesota, is home to a vast ecosystem of freshwater creatures. Commonly seen fish include black bulls, blue gills, green sunfish, largemouth bass, northern pike, and walleye. The lake is popular with both fishermen and recreational boaters.

Minnetonka is home to a variety of invasive species as well, one of which is the common carp, a species caught by Maddy. It was introduced by European settlers in the 1880s as a potential fishing tackle, but has since exploded in population.

In southwest Lake Minnetonka, an estimated 60,000 common carp infest the waters of Halstead Bay, according to the University of Minnesota’s Center for Invasive Aquatic Species Research. This is about five times the level required for sustainability.

The problem is that the carp stir up mud, uprooting plants and creating ideal conditions for algae growth. With the multiplication of algae, the water turns turbid and depletes oxygen. This leads to a chain reaction in which natural plants begin to die due to a lack of sunlight, which eventually leads to a decline in the numbers of valuable fishing fish.

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District plans to control carp by targeting nearby lakes that drain into Minnetonka, catching carp in nets and moving them out of the lake.

“When we need to take fresh fish somewhere and put it to good use, we bring it in [to the Wildlife Science Center in Stacy]. They have the best-feeding wolves in the state, contractor Jordan Wayne, general manager of Carp Solutions, told CBS.

Funded by a $567,000 grant from the Lissard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, carp control efforts will also include installing fish barriers and aerators to help oxygenate the lake’s waters.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: