Silver (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead (H. nobilis) carp (collectively bigheaded carp) are invasive fish that threaten aquatic ecosystems in the upper Midwest United States and the Laurentian Great Lakes. Controlling bigheaded carp is a priority of fisheries managers and one area of focus involves developing acoustic deterrents to prevent upstream migration. For an acoustic deterrent to be effective however, the hearing ability of bigheaded carp must be characterized. A previous study showed that bigheaded carp detected sound up to 3 kHz but this range is narrower than what has been reported for other ostariophysans. Therefore, silver and bighead carp frequency detection was evaluated in response to 100 Hz to 9 kHz using auditory evoked potentials (AEPs). AEPs were recorded from 100 Hz to 5 kHz. The lowest thresholds were at 500 Hz for both species (silver carp threshold: 80.6 ± 3.29 dB re 1 μPa SPLrms, bighead carp threshold: 90.5 ± 5.75 dB re 1 μPa SPLrms; mean ± SD). These results provide fisheries managers with better insight on effective acoustic stimuli for deterrent systems, however, to fully determine bigheaded carp hearing abilities, these results need to be compared with behavioral assessments.
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