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Wednesday, January 27 • 11:40am - 12:00pm
Tributary Use and Large-Scale Movement of Grass Carp: Patterns To Inform Control Efforts In Western Lake Erie

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AUTHORS: Cleyo Harris*, Michigan State University; Travis Brenden, Michigan State University; Seth Herbst, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Christopher Vandergoot, Ohio Department of Natural Resources; Charles Krueger, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: Grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella were first imported to the U.S. in the early 1960s and by the 1970s were being widely introduced as a means for vegetation control. Over the past 20 years, grass carp have been detected at low densities in Lake Erie, but were deemed a low threat because most were assumed to be triploid individuals and consequently reproductively sterile. Recent evidence suggests that wild recruitment of grass carp in Lake Erie is occurring, which has elevated concerns about population expansion and spread. Grass carp life history and behavioral aspects in the Great Lakes are unknown and these knowledge gaps hinder design of effective control strategies. The objectives of this study were to determine tributary use, locations of spawning aggregations, and the extent of inter-basin movements in Lake Erie and the potential for expansion into other Great Lakes areas. To date, 12 grass carp have been collected and implanted with acoustic transmitters. Movement and habitat use will be determined using strategically placed, passive acoustic receivers in combination with mobile tracking methods throughout the duration of the study through collaboration with the Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System (GLATOS). Movement patterns from the tagged grass carps at large will be summarized. To increase sample size, additional sampling and tagging is planned for 2016. This study will increase the knowledge of grass carp seasonal movement patterns in Lake Erie and allow resource agencies to develop science-based management approaches for eradication and control actions. Understanding the locations of spawning habitats gained through acoustic telemetry will aid managers in developing effective plans to spatially and temporally target areas with the greatest likelihood for the capture and removal of grass carp.

Wednesday January 27, 2016 11:40am - 12:00pm EST