Modeling Control of Common Carp in Malheur Lake

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The introduction of Common Carp into North American waters has led to widespread alteration of aquatic ecosystems. Researchers developed a population dynamics model (CarpMOD) to explore control measures that eradicate carp at multiple life stages (embryos, juveniles, and adults).

The study occurred in Malheur Lake in Southeast Oregon where managers have been trying to control carp invasions for 65 years. Simulated control measures included commercial harvest of adults, trapping of juveniles, embryo electroshocking, and increasing avian predation. Cumulative carp mortality resulting from combinations of two or more active removal methods could reduce biomass below the desired threshold needed to achieve system recovery. CarpMOD simulations suggest 40 percent of carp need to be removed at each life-stage, which may be unrealistic to maintain. Simulation models such as CarpMOD provide a structured approach for informing invasive species management efforts prior to implementing expensive and uncertain control measures.

 

Pearson, J.B., Dunham, J.B., Bellmore, J.R., Lyons, D.E., 2019, Modeling control of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) in a shallow desert lake: Wetlands Ecology and Management, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-019-09685-0

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