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Wednesday, January 31 • 10:40am - 11:00am
SYMPOSIA-14: Asian Carp Contracted Harvest in the Upper Mississippi River

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AUTHORS. James Lamer, Western Illinois University; Kevin Irons, IL Department of Natural Resources; Brent Knights, US Geological Survey-Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center; Kyle Mosel, Fish and Wildlife Service - La Crosse; Ann Runstrom, Fish and Wildlife Service - La Crosse

ABSTRACT. Asian carp are widely distributed throughout the Mississippi River Basin, but their abundance above Lock and dam 19 remains lower than the rest of the basin.  Lock and dam 19 has never been at open river conditions since its installation, which restricts all fish passage to the lock chamber.  The pinch point at Lock and dam 19 and low density populations in the pools above allow us to use and assess the effectiveness of contracted harvest to reduce pressure on other upstream pinch points (i.e., Lock and dam 14, 15).  These efforts are assisted by a multi-agency effort including ILDNR, MDC, FWS, USGS, IADNR, and MNDNR to inform harvest and control measures.  We are using contracted commercial fishers informed by telemetry and life history attributes, to capture bighead carp, silver carp, and grass carp (i.e., Asian carp).  Initial captures were jaw-tagged (n=714) and released to obtain population estimates using recapture events, and track the exploitation rate and effectiveness of harvest through time.  The first two years of harvest removed nearly 150,000 lbs of fish with a tag recovery of 8.5%.   These initial years of harvest were valuable to determine patterns of fish aggregation related to hydrograph, determine the size structure of fish and the gear needed to target them, and evaluate the use of telemetered fish to inform removal.

Wednesday January 31, 2018 10:40am - 11:00am CST