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Validation of the model-predicted spawning area of grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella in the Sandusky River

July 23, 2020

Spawning of grass carp, Ctenopharyngodon idella, in the Great Lakes basin was verified when eight fertilized eggs were collected in the Sandusky River, a tributary to Lake Erie, in 2015. Using a fluvial drift model (FluEgg) and simulation modeling, researchers predicted the fertilization location for those eggs was 3.8 ± 1 km (95% credible interval, CI) downstream of Ballville Dam. In June 2018, simultaneous collection of fertilized eggs and adults within the model-predicted spawning area provided the opportunity to verify the fertilization location. We used estimated developmental time (Dt) of eggs calculated from developmental stages, water temperature, and an equation that predicts Dt from cumulative thermal units experienced by developing eggs, in two analyses. First, we regressed Dt versus location of capture and solved that equation for developmental time of 0 hrs (Dt0) to estimate fertilization location. Second, we used Dt in the Fluvial Drift Simulator (FluEgg) to simulate 23 scenarios representative of drift conditions throughout the spawning event using the model-predicted spawning area and the site of Ballville Dam as potential spawning locations. Regression analysis placed the mean fertilization location 3.36 km (95% CI 2.27, 4.24) downstream of the site of Ballville Dam, within the model-predicted spawning area. Drift models demonstrated the model-predicted spawning area was best supported. Histograms of fertilization times overlapped with capture times by boat electrofishing of diploid adult grass carp in the model-predicted spawning area. This suite of analyses confirms the model-predicted spawning area and validates the methodology used to locate it.

Publication Year 2021
Title Validation of the model-predicted spawning area of grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella in the Sandusky River
DOI 10.1016/j.jglr.2020.06.005
Authors Patrick Kočovský, Nicole R. King, Eric Weimer, Christine Mayer, Song S. Qian
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Great Lakes Research
Index ID 70216198
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Great Lakes Science Center