Invasive bigheaded carp are advancing up the Upper Mississippi River by passing through its locks-and-dams (LDs). Although these structures already impede fish passage, this role could be greatly enhanced by modifying how their spillway gates operate, adding deterrent systems to their locks, and removing carp. This study examined this possibility using numeric modeling and empirical data, which evaluated all three options on an annual basis in both single LDs and pairs under different river flow conditions. Over 100 scenarios were modeled. While all three approaches showed promise, ranging from 8 to 73% reductions in how many carp pass a single LD, when employed together at pairs of LDs, upstream movement rates of invasive carp could be reduced 98– 99% from current levels. Although modifying spillway gate operation is the least expensive option, its efficacy drops at high flows, so lock deterrents and/or removal using fishing/trapping are required to move towards complete blockage. Improved deterrent efficacy could also offset the need for more efficient removal. This model could help prioritize research and management actions for containing carp.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The data described in this research was funded by the Legislative Citizens Commission for Minnesota Resources. We thank the Sorensen lab group for generating the data described herein as well as the USACE and USFWS and MN DNR for administrative and field help. Jeff Whitty?s help is especially acknowledged.
Funding: The data described in this research was funded by the Legislative Citizens Commission for Minnesota Resources.
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
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