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Monday, January 29 • 4:40pm - 5:00pm
ASIAN CARP: Electrotrawling as a Method to Mass Remove Invasive Carp

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AUTHORS. Josey Ridgway, Emily Pherigo, Wyatt Doyle, Jason Goeckler, Kevin Drews, Ryan Long - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. To reduce the number of Asian carp downstream of the electric dispersal barrier on the Illinois River, mass removal efforts, referred to as barrier defense, are coordinated spring through late fall in the Starved Rock and Marseilles pools by Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  The USFWS Columbia Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (FWCO) has participated in these efforts using an electrified butterfly trawl which captures a wide size range of Asian carp from a variety of habitat types.  In 2016, the Columbia FWCO fished 16 days and removed 11,103 Silver Carp at a rate of 707 Silver Carp/electrotrawling hour.  In an effort to increase removal efficiency, daily operations (i.e., gear set-up/take-down, searching for fish, electrotrawling time, emptying nets, and gear repair) were tracked and assessed in 2017.  With the addition of a tender boat, mechanical winches, and other improvements, Silver Carp catch rates increased to 2,129 Silver Carp/electrotrawling hour.  In terms of labor hours, approximately 62 Silver Carp per labor hour were removed in 2016 whereas approximately 91 Silver Carp/labor hour were removed in 2017.  Current results indicate majority of time (~35%) is spent removing fish from nets.  Mechanisms to reduce handling fish are in development which includes upgrading net cods and adding winches to the tender boat.  In conclusion, this assessment will improve efficiency of the electrified butterfly trawl to mass remove Asian carp and progress the management and control of these invasive species in Midwestern waters.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:40pm - 5:00pm CST