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Silver carp herding: A telemetry evaluation of efficacy and implications for design and application

September 28, 2023

Removal of invasive Silver Carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix is a primary control action in North America. Strong avoidance responses to underwater sound and electricity have been shown to facilitate herding and mass removal of these fish. We conducted a telemetry study on a closed population of Silver Carp (i.e., 10 telemetered fish) to assess fine-scale movement responses to herding stimuli. Two herding boats traveled along bank-to-bank transects through the study area (longitudinal progression rate = 0.37 m/s) emitting sound and electricity (“combination technique”) or no added stimuli (“control”). The combination technique was most effective in terms of increasing fish presence (2.2 x the control) in the refuge-zones when herding had concluded and effective range (i.e., fish reaction distance; 1.6 x the control) relative to the herding boats. Fish median (~1 m/s) and maximum (~2 m/s) swimming velocity was relatively stable across fixed effects, except for the negative influence of water depth on maximum velocity. Water depth also exhibited a negative effect on fish reaction distance. Our results suggest effective range of the combination technique was conservatively 200 m (~20 dB re 1 μPa > ambient level) when accounting for water depth in the study area. Herding deployments less than 1 m/s (longitudinal progression) could control fish passing and maintain fish movements towards an intended location. Information provided herein can serve to assist planning, design, and application of herding efforts used to manage, control, and remove these invasive fish.

Publication Year 2023
Title Silver carp herding: A telemetry evaluation of efficacy and implications for design and application
DOI 10.1002/nafm.10955
Authors Josey Lee Ridgway, Matthew Ross Acre, Tyler Michael Hessler, Dustin Broaddus, Jessica Morris, Robin Calfee
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
Index ID 70249705
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Columbia Environmental Research Center