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Tuesday, January 26 • 3:20pm - 3:40pm
Silver Carp Hypophthalmichthys Molitrix Behavior and Bioacoustics

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AUTHORS: Brooke J. Vetter*, University of Minnesota Duluth, Kelsie A. Murchy, University of Minnesota Duluth, Aaron R. Cupp, USGS, Jon J. Amberg. USGS, Mark P. Gaikowski, USGS, Allen F. Mensinger, University of Minnesota Duluth

ABSTRACT: Invasive silver Hypophthalmichthys molitrix and bighead H. nobilis carp dominate large regions of the Mississippi River Drainage, outcompete native species, and continue to expand northward threatening the Great Lakes. Silver carp are most notorious for their prolific and unusual jumping behavior. High densities of juvenile and adult (~25 kg) carp are known to jump up to 3 m above the water surface. Understanding silver carp jumping is not only important from a behavioral standpoint, it is also critical to determine effective techniques for controlling this harmful species. Field observations of silver carp jumping orientation and frequency were completed to better understand this behavior. Additionally, underwater recordings of outboard motors were analyzed to study the jumping stimulus. Controlled experiments, in restricted access outdoor concrete ponds (10 x 5 x 2 m), investigated the sensory biology of both carp species. The concrete ponds were outfitted with overhead cameras, speakers, and hydrophones. High frequency pure tones (500-2000 Hz) and field recordings of outboard motors were broadcast to bigheaded carp and their behavior was tracked. The fish habituated quickly to pure tones (after 1-2 trials) however, they regularly exhibited negative phonotaxis in response to outboard motor sounds. By alternating the speakers, carp movement was consistently directed away from the sound source to the opposite end of the pond. This research suggests that sound can be used to alter the behavior of bigheaded carp with implications for deterrent barriers or other uses (e.g., herding fish to increase harvest). Research was supported through the U.S. Geological Survey and University of Minnesota Duluth.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 3:20pm - 3:40pm EST