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"Modified Unified Method" of carp capture

February 6, 2020

Populations of Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (silver carp) and Hypophthalmichthys nobilis (bighead carp), (together referred to herein as “bigheaded carp”) have increased exponentially in the greater Mississippi River Basin. Detrimental effects on native fish and economically important fisheries have occurred where these invasive, filter-feeding fish are abundant. The Unified Method, a harvest technique developed in China for bigheaded carp in flood plain lakes, uses herding techniques and a variety of nets to drive bigheaded carp and concentrate them into an area where they can be easily harvested. The U.S. Geological Survey is adapting the Chinese Unified Method concepts to be consistent with North American financial, societal, and environmental conditions. We have modified these techniques and incorporated modern technology to reduce the time and expense of Unified Methods and to allow them to be used in public waters. Thus, the operations in North America are often described as the “Modified Unified Method.” The U.S. Geological Survey is studying and refining the Modified Unified Method to provide stakeholders with efficient, validated, and environmentally friendly methods for carp removal; however, this method is still new to the United States and additional research is needed to further increase the efficiency of Modified Unified Method operations.