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Grass carp reproduction in small tributaries of Truman Reservoir, Missouri: Implications for establishment in novel habitats

June 30, 2021

Substantial work has been conducted to estimate the river length required for recruitment of invasive Grass Carp and bigheaded carp; however, the distance upstream and size of stream required for spawning remain unclear. Adult Grass Carp are regularly captured in Truman Reservoir, Missouri although there have been only unconfirmed sightings of Silver Carp. Fertile diploid Grass Carp are used legally for vegetation control in Missouri; however, it is uncertain whether Grass Carp in Truman Reservoir are the result of natural reproduction or escapees. We used ichthyoplankton tows and environmental DNA (eDNA) to investigate which carp species were present in the reservoir basin and if these carps were spawning in reservoir tributaries. Grass Carp eggs were collected in four of five tributaries during June 2014; Neither eggs, larvae, or eDNA of Bighead Carp or Silver Carp were detected. The occurrence of Grass Carp eggs generally coincided with rapid increases in discharge and turbidity. These tributaries may be the smallest rivers worldwide in which spawning of Grass Carp has been documented. We infer from the developmental stages captured and the distance from the reservoir that sufficient river length exists for egg survival. These results have broad implications concerning establishment of Grass Carp in other novel habitats including other reservoirs and lake basins, smaller rivers and the Laurentian Great Lakes ecosystem.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2021
Title Grass carp reproduction in small tributaries of Truman Reservoir, Missouri: Implications for establishment in novel habitats
DOI 10.1002/nafm.10670
Authors Cari-Ann Hayer, Michael F. Bayless, Catherine A. Richter, Amy E. George, Duane C. Chapman
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
Series Number
Index ID 70225659
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Columbia Environmental Research Center