ST. PAUL (AP) - A 27-pound bighead carp caught in the St. Croix River recently is being used by Minnesota officials to rally support for slowing the spread of such invasive species.

Bighead carp are one of several invasive carp species that the Department of Natural Resources says could seriously harm the state's native fish species and aquatic ecosystems.

This is the sixth incident of bighead carp caught in the Mississippi River watershed bordering Minnesota, but only the second caught near the St. Croix River. The first bighead carp was caught in 1996 in the St. Croix north of its confluence with the Mississippi.

The bighead doesn't pose a danger by leaping out of the water like "leaping" silver carp, but the DNR says they destroy habitats by eating vast amounts of plankton.

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