Patrick Kocovsky

My main research focus in on invasive species, primarily spawning and recruitment of Grass Carp in Lake Erie and potential control measures. I also study biology, taxonomy, and recovery of Silver Chub, a native and imperiled species with similar spawning requirements as Grass Carp. I also conduct hydroacoustics research in support of fisheries monitoring and management. 



BS in Fishery Biology, magna cum laude, Colorado State, 1993

MS in Wildlife and Fisheries Science, Penn State, 1999

PhD in Wildlife and Fisheries Science, Penn State, 2004

Post-doc with USGS Northern Appalachian Research Lab on suitability of Susquehanna River tributaries for restoration of anadromous alosines and catadromous American Eel. 

I am a research fishery biologist at the Lake Erie Biological Station, a field station of the Great Lakes Science Center.  My research foci are invasive and imperiled species. I collaborate with provincial, state, and US and Canadian federal researchers to address research needs. 

Much of my research is conducted within the framework of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC), which was created by a treaty between the US and Canada in the 1950s.  Under the umbrella of the GLFC are 5 lake committees, one for each of the 5 large Laurentian Great Lakes.  Under the Lake Erie Committee is the Standing Technical Committee, under which are five Task Groups, each of which is a standing committee tasked with carrying out research and monitoring as set forth by the Lake Erie Committee.  The 5 task groups are: Coldwater Task Group (CWTG), Habitat Task Group (HTG), Forage Task Group (FTG), Walleye Task Group (WTG), and Yellow Perch Task Group (YPTG). I am a member of the FTG, which has a charge to track new invasive species in Lake Erie.  I conduct or participate in research and monitoring that supports the charges of the FTG.  I am primarily responsible for maintaining a local database of new invasive species, and I coordinate addition of those data to the USGS NAS database. I served previously on the HTG, which assesses habitat and maintains a database of ongoing habitat restoration, protection, and remediation projects. I have participated in research supporting restoration of lake trout that examined reported historical spawning locations and sought to identify additional spawning locations. 

I also serve as Adjunct Research Faculty at the Univeristy of Toledo where I serve on numerous graduate academic committees and teach courses on Fisheries-related topics. 

Selected Publications

Stapanian, M. A., Kočovský, P. M., and B. Bodamer-Scarbro. 2017. Evaluating factors driving population densities of mayfly nymphs in Western Lake Erie. Journal of Great Lakes Research 43:1111-1118.

DuFour, M. R., C. M. Mayer, P. M. Kocovsky, S. S. Qian, D. M. Warner, R. T. Kraus, and C. S. Vandergoot. 2017. Sparse targets in hydroacoustic surveys: balancing quantity and quality of in situ target strength data. Fisheries Research 188: 173-182.

Erickson, R. A., E. A. Eager, M. K. Brey, M. J. Hansen, and P. M. Kočovský. 2017. An integral projection model with YY-males and application to evaluating grass carp control. Ecological Modeling 361 (2017):14-25. 

Rivera, J. M., D. C. Glover, P. M. Kocovsky, J. E. Garvey,M. Gaikowski, N. Jensen, and R. Adams. 2017. Water Guns Effect Abundance and Behavior of Asian Carp and Native Fish Differently. Biological Invasions doi:10.1007/s10530-017-1624-9.

Embke, H. S., P. M. Kocovsky, C. A. Richter, J. J. Pritt, C. M. Mayer, and S. S. Qian. 2016. First direct confirmation of grass carp spawning in a Great Lakes tributary. Journal of Great Lakes Research 42:899-903.

Kocovsky, P. M. 2016. Effects of freezing on white perch Morone americana (Gmelin, 1789): implications for multivariate morphometrics. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 32:92-96.

Handley, G., C. M. Frantz, P. M. Kocovsky, D. DeVries, S. J. Cooke, and J. Claussen. 2015. An Examination of Gender Bias in the American Fisheries Society Peer Review Process. Fisheries 40(9):442-451.

Kraus, R. T., C. Knight, T. Farmer, A. M. Gorman, G. Warren, P. Collingsworth, P. Kocovsky, and J. Conroy. 2015. Dynamic Hypoxic Zones in Lake Erie Compress Fish Habitat Altering Vulnerability to Fishing Gears. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 72:797-806.

Yule, D. L., J. V. Adams, D. M. Warner, T. R. Hrabik, P. M. Kocovsky, B. C. Weidel, L. G. Rudstam, and P. J. Sullivan. 2013. Evaluation of current and proposed methods to apportion Great Lakes acoustic fish density estimates to species using a pelagic fish community simulator. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 70:1845-1857.

Chapman, D. C., J. J. Davis, J. A. Jenkins, P. M. Kocovsky, J. G. Miner, J. Farver, and P. R. Jackson. 2013. First evidence of grass carp recruitment in the Great Lakes basin. Journal of Great Lakes Research 39:547-554.

Kocovsky, P. M., L. G. Rudstam, D. Yule, D. Warner, T. Schaner, B. Pientka, J. Deller, H. Waterfield, L. Witzel, and P. Sullivan. 2013. Evaluation of standardization of hydroacoustic data collection and analysis: example from the Laurentian Great Lakes. Journal of Great Lakes Research 39:655-662.

Kocovsky, P.M., T. Sullivan, C. T. Knight, and C. A. Stepien. 2013. Genetic and morphometric differences demonstrate fine-scale population substructure of the yellow perch Perca flavescens: Need for redefined management units. Journal of Fish Biology 82:2015-2030.

Pritt, J. J., M. R. DuFour, C. M. Mayer, P. M. Kocovsky, J. T. Tyson, E. J. Weimer, and C. S. Vandergoot. 2013. Including independent estimates and uncertainty to quantify total abundance of fish migrating in a large river system: walleye (Sander vitreus) in the Maumee River, OH. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 70:803-814.

Kocovsky, P. M., D. C. Chapman, and J. E. McKenna. 2012. Thermal and hydrologic suitability of Lake Erie and its major tributaries for spawning of Asian carp. Journal of Great Lakes Research 38:159-166.