Benthic Mapping – Illinois River Benthic Mapping to Support Invasive Asian Carp Research

Science Center Objects

According to the 2016 Monitoring and Response Plan for Asian carp in the Mississippi River Basin, there is little to no information in regards to Asian carp behavior and habitat use in invaded areas (1). There are some studies and anecdotal information showing that Asian carp are occurring in certain macrohabitats, specifically the main channel border during low summer flows and backwaters during winter (2, 3). However, why specific areas in channel borders or backwaters are preferred over others is not apparent from this information. Remote sensing technologies, such as high-resolution sonars, can be used to collect more detailed information about the benthic and water column characteristics of these macrohabitats in the Illinois River to inform removal efforts. These characteristics include: high resolution bathymetry, micro and macro benthic structure from bathymetry and side scan images, and water-column backscatter.  These aspects of the benthic and water column are known to affect fish, including Asian carp behavior and distribution. 

Benthic Mapping

Triangulated irregular network (TIN) example of the high-resolution bathymetry collected with multibeam sonar. The bathymetry is generally around 0.5m resolution.

(Public domain.)

Benthic Mapping

Detailed Description: Open source programs such as PyHum (3,4) use side scan sonar to classify bed texture. Classifying bed texture can help interpret habitats for river critters and vegetation.

(Public domain.)

Benthic habitat maps of the Illinois River are developed using high-resolution sonar technologies with geogoraphic information systems (GIS) and object based image analysis. These benthic maps for the Illinois River specifically support Asian carp research, monitoring, and control. The entire study plan will consist of data collection and analysis of the Brandon, Dresden, Starved Rock, Marseilles, Peoria, La Grange, and Alton reaches. The reaches with larger aquatic areas will map priority areas and backwaters while filling in the main channel data with USACE collected data. 

 

Benthic Mapping

UMESC Staff mounting multibeam sonar onto boat before data collection.

(Public domain.)

Benthic Mapping

A UMESC biologist, Jenny Hanson, is navigating the Illinois River while collecting high-resolution multibeam bathymetry.

(Public domain.)

 

References:

1. Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association & Asian Carp Advisory Committee. (2016). Monitoring and Response Plan for Asian Carp in the Mississippi River Basin. Retrieved from http://www.asiancarp.us/documents/MRP2016Mississippi%20RiverBasin.pdf

1. DeGrandchamp, Kelly L., Garvey, James E. and Colombo, Robert E. "Movement and Habitat Selection by Invasive Asian Carps in a Large River." (Jan 2008).

2. Koel, T. M., K. S. Irons, and E. Ratcliff. 2000. Asian carp invasion of the upper Mississippi River system. U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, Project Status Report 2000-05, LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

3. Buscombe, D., Grams, P.E., and Smith, S. (2015) "Automated riverbed sediment classification using low-cost sidescan sonar", Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 10.1061/(ASCE)HY.1943-7900.0001079, 06015019.

4. Buscombe, D., 2017, Shallow water benthic imaging and substrate characterization using recreational-grade sidescan-sonar. ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE 89, 1-18.