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Multimodal invasive carp deterrent study at Barkley Lock and Dam—Status update through 2022

August 11, 2023

Invasive carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis [Bighead Carp], Mylopharyngodon piceus [Black Carp], Ctenopharyngodon idella [Grass Carp], and H. molitrix [Silver Carp]) continue to spread in the United States and deterrents at river navigation locks are one emerging control strategy for slowing the spread. High-head navigation dams on large rivers serve as impediments to the upstream spread of these populations. One possible control technique is using a multimodal deterrent that utilizes a combination of lights, sound, and air bubbles to guide fish away from a location. Laboratory tests and small-scale field deployments of similar multi-stimuli deterrents have demonstrated potential for deterring invasive carp. These earlier studies led to the deployment and initiation of a field study of a multimodal deterrent in 2019 at the downstream lock approach at Barkley Lock and Dam on the Cumberland River near Grand Rivers, Kentucky. We are using two types of telemetry systems to evaluate how the multimodal deterrent affects movement and behavior of Silver Carp, Grass Carp, and four native species: Aplodinotus grunniens (Freshwater Drum), Polyodon spathula (Paddlefish), Ictiobus bubalus (Smallmouth Buffalo), and Acipenser fulvescens (Lake Sturgeon). We are evaluating fish movements in response to the multimodal deterrent by using a study design that cycles between 1 week with the multimodal deterrent on and 1 week with it off. This weekly cycling provides baseline comparisons across variable environmental conditions. When the multimodal deterrent is on, the number of Silver Carp completing upstream passage through Barkley Lock is reduced by about one-half. This study that began in 2019 can provide insights into the effectiveness of a multimodal deterrent for limiting upstream movement of invasive carp or effects on native fishes through strategic navigation locks on large rivers.

Publication Year 2023
Title Multimodal invasive carp deterrent study at Barkley Lock and Dam—Status update through 2022
DOI 10.3133/ofr20231051
Authors Andrea K. Fritts, Daniel Gibson-Reinemer, Jessica C. Stanton, Kyle Mosel, Marybeth K. Brey, Jonathan M. Vallazza, Douglas Appel, Jacob Faulkner, Joshua Tompkins, Theodore Castro-Santos, Matthew Sholtis, Andy Turnpenny, Peter Sorensen, Rob Simmonds
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2023-1051
Index ID ofr20231051
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Western Fisheries Research Center; Eastern Ecological Science Center