Asian carp prevention gets tech savvy

by Jeff Helsdon | July 30, 2018

asian carp - asian capThe Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) is casting a wide net when it comes to the methods it will use in its 2018 plan to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.

Further work will be done to secure other possible paths for Asian carp between the Mississippi watershed and Lake Erie. The use of underwater acoustics to repel fish will also be explored further.

Sandra Morrison, a staff scientist with the United States Geological Survey said, “In 2018, we are conducting pond trials at the USGS CERC (Columbia Environmental Research Center) to test new acoustic stimuli that have not previously been tested. These new sounds will then be tested in the Wabash River on wild fish. Two large-scale field applications of acoustic deterrents are also new for 2018. We will assist the (U.S.) Fish and Wildlife Service with the evaluation of a proprietary system in Kentucky, and start planning for the implementation of an acoustic deterrent system at Lock and Dam 19 on the Mississippi River.”

Antimycin, a control agent delivered through micro-particle bait that silver and bighead carp will consume but native fish won’t, was tried in a limited field trial in 2017. Larger-scale trials will take place this year.

“We plan to conduct a larger field trial in 2018 in a location invaded by silver carp and bighead carp but with diverse native fish population still present. The 2018 trial will incorporate lessons learned from the first field trial with a research objective of improving the efficacy of this tool to remove silver carp and bighead carp,” Morrison said. “The 2018 field trial is also important in that it will allow us to collect data and information on the risk to native aquatic animals present during micro-particle application.”

Work on technologies used against grass carp will also be increased in response to the heightened threat to Lake Erie.

The 2018 plan is the foundation for the work of the ACRCC partnership — a collaboration of 27 U.S. and Canadian federal, state, provincial, and local agencies and organizations.

Click here to learn why trench potentially entering the Great Lakes is a cause for concern

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