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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Larval Fish Monitoring in the Upper Mississippi River Pools 8-13: Surveys for Emerging Populations of Asian Carps in Novel Habitats

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AUTHORS: Mark Fritts, Ann Runstrom - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT: Evaluation of population and reproductive dynamics of Asian carps in the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) provides timely detection of new spawning events, can identify novel spawning and nursery habitats, and allows managers to formulate effective strategies for controlling emergent populations. The primary objectives of this monitoring program are to evaluate Asian Carp reproduction (egg, larval, and juvenile densities) and recruitment patterns in the Upper Mississippi River Watershed. Monitoring eggs and larvae using ichthyoplankton tows was conducted at 28 fixed-locations in the UMR approximately every 2 weeks during summer 2016. Survey design was modified during 2017, to include weekly monitoring at 24 fixed-sites from 20 April to 25 August 2017. Ichthyoplankton tows were conducted at the surface at a constant boat speed relative to the shoreline for four minutes at each location using a 0.5 m diameter net with 500 µm mesh. A flowmeter was mounted in the mouth of the net to estimate volume of water filtered during each tow. In the laboratory, eggs and larvae were separated from detritus, counted, and preserved for vouchering and, if necessary, genetic identification. 5,242 larval and juvenile fish and 3,659 eggs were collected in 240 ichthyoplankton tows conducted between 11 May and 31 August 2016. Evaluations of larval and juvenile fishes from 2016 collections did not identify any Bighead, Silver, or Grass carps in these samples. Native fish collections were dominated by Notropis species and Freshwater Drum. Samples collected during 2017 are currently being processed. Yearly monitoring of larval fish and egg drift in the Upper Mississippi River and its tributaries offers opportunities to explore the reproductive habits of fishes aside from Asian carps. Additionally, these data allow development of a baseline, pre-invasion estimate of native fish production/recruitment in locations where Asian carps have likely not yet established robust reproductive populations.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Ballroom C & Foyer

Attendees (2)