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Description of Work Initial tests of a variety of chemical stimuli identified a strong response to the algal food attractant. Field testing of chemical stimulants based on algae will seek to identify potent mixtures based on persistence and duration of attraction. These studies will include consideration of component chemicals such as amino acids produced by algae that enhance the attractiveness of the stimulus, based on carp smell and taste senses. Means of providing a sustained release of the stimulant will be explored through tests of various media. Tests will be conducted to confirm the possibility that carp can be conditioned to feeding stations that can be used to facilitate their capture. Relevance & Impact...
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Description of Work This spring (2014) we will measure Asian carp eDNA over time at a Missouri River site downstream of multiple spawning areas before and during spawning. We will measure the amount of Asian carp eDNA in water samples. The amount of eDNA will be related to the numbers of eggs and larvae counted in matched samples (water samples taken at the same time and place). The time since the eDNA was released by the carp will be estimated and these results will be related to the average age of AC eggs and larvae in matched samples. We will also test for substances which interfere with the eDNA measurement techniques and can lead to false negatives. We will also be validating markers developed by USGS and...
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Description of Work In separate studies, bighead carp and silver carp were raised in waters of varying hardness. Survival, correct development, and hatching success were monitored. Additionally, a search of the Asian literature (including Chinese-language literature) on water hardness in areas where Asian carp are native was performed. Relevance & Impact If soft water limits Asian carp hatching success, then this would mean that large areas of the Great Lakes and east and west coast drainages would not be at risk of Asian carp establishment. Key Findings Both bighead carp and silver carp developed normally and the eggs hatched normally in all water hardnesses tested, including very soft water. The Yangtze River,...
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Description of Work The USGS will communicate these results through coordinating site visits to demonstrate how technologies are applied. USGS will coordinate the communication approach across multiple projects to most efficiently demonstrate technologies and get the information to the stakeholders and managers. A demonstration of Asian carp control technologies occurred in August 2013 near Morris, Illinois at a backwater pond of the Illinois River. State and federal partners were invited to visit an application of the Integrated Pest Management approach to Asian carp control. Water guns, algal feeding attractant, acoustic fish tracking, and commercial fishing were implemented in a coordinated manner to reduce...
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Description of Work USGS employees worked with Chinese scientists to acquire and translate existing Chinese science on development. Then, bighead and silver carps were spawned and the eggs and larvae reared in the laboratory, with close control on temperature and very close observation of the different developmental stages. Multiple spawning events of each species were necessary to understand variability in developmental rate. Preserved voucher specimens and microscope photography were taken of all developmental stages. Relevance & Impact These data were first used to model the spawning locations of Asian carps in the Missouri River. They were later used in the development of the more advanced FluEgg model, which...
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Description of Work Bighead, silver and grass carp larvae were raised in the laboratory. Larvae were observed during the hatching process. Recently hatched larvae were placed in 10 feet tall clear vertical containers where the carp were exposed to light for a similar amount of time during the day as they would experience in a river during the spawning period. Depth selection, swimming behavior, and swimming speed were observed in both day and night periods. Relevance & Impact Understanding the stage at which Asian carps begin swimming is critical to development of models that predict whether a river is adequate for reproduction by Asian carps. Knowledge of where and how Asian carp larvae arrive in nursery areas...
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Description of Work This work began by assembling fish toxicant data into a common database and examining the database for trends in toxicant data. The trends found in the toxicant database were linked to physiochemical properties of the individual toxicants. Combining the toxicant trends with the physiochemical properties may allow for the prediction of toxicity and the identification of chemicals with selectivity for the Asian carp. Identifying a selective toxicant may provide control of Asian carps while minimizing effects on other non-target aquatic species. When Asian carp specific toxicants are identified from the initial screen within the database these toxicants are then further screened in toxicity assays...
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Description of Work To achieve a better understanding of seasonal habitats and migratory behaviors of Asian carp, we will conduct studies using telemetry, sonar and conventional fish sampling to determine 1) if, when, and where Asian carp congregate, 2) habitat overlap between Asian carp and native fishes, especially native filter-feeding fishes and potential predators, and 3) the suitability of large rivers and tributaries for spawning by Asian carp. We will also assess feeding behaviors by sampling food particles from areas with telemetry-tagged fish, at random sites and in Asian carp stomachs. Food from these sources will be characterized with a particle analyzer, genetics and microscopy to determine preferences...
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Description of Work USGS researchers have determined the densities of the eggs as these develop, and how much time the bighead and silver carp require to begin swimming and migrating laterally from flowing water into nursery habitat. This information about egg transport requirements was used to create a Tributary Assessment Tool also referred to as the Fluvial Egg Drift Simulator (FluEgg) model. The development of this tool was a collaborative effort between USGS and the University of Illinois. The tool takes into account the hydraulics of a river (water velocity and dispersion rates) and the water temperature (affects egg and larvae development rates) in order to determine if a river is sufficiently long and the...
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Products Duncker, J.J. and Johnson, K.K., 2015, Hydrology of and current monitoring issues for the Chicago Area Waterway System, northeastern Illinois: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5115, 48 p., http://dx.doi. org/10.3133/sir20155115.
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Description of Work The geology, hydrology, sediment, and water quality of the Des Plaines River, I&M Canal, and Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and the aquifer between these water bodies were characterized along a 19-mile reach of interest. Acoustic data and a field examination of the bedrock identified the geometry of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and areas with fractures that could possibly transport water from the Des Plaines River or I&M Canal to the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal by way of the groundwater system. The areas with fractures were further investigated by collecting sediment, geologic, and hydraulic data that could indicate a connection between the surface-water bodies and the groundwater....
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Description of Work Several techniques will be used to characterize these potential controlling factors and data collection will be coordinated with the other agencies efforts to provide maximum complementary data collection and analysis. Flow, velocity and a suite of water-quality parameters (water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, specific conductance, chlorophyll-a, blue-green algae, nitrate and turbidity) will be collected in the main channel and backwater areas of the river. Plankton sampling data from the Illinois Department of Natural History will be used to characterize the available food supply in this reach of the river. Day-to-day movement of Asian carp recorded from field observations and telemetered...
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Description of Work Two large-scale and complex applications of rotenone (a fish poison) in the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) occurred in 2009 and 2010 to combat invasive Asian. Rotenone is a fish toxicant that targets gill-breathing organisms by inhibiting respiration and breaks down quickly in the environment. In December 2009, rotenone was applied in the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) at multiple stations through a 6.2-mile reach of the canal near Lockport, Illinois. The rotenone was being applied as a precautionary measure during maintenance of the electric fish barrier in place to keep the Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. Tracking the movement of the rotenone is critical to time the addition of...
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Description of Work Hydroacoustic surveys were used to characterize the distribution of fish within the backwater before, during and after the addition of algal feeding attractants, establishment of a water gun barrier and commercial fishing activities. Algal feeding attractants were injected at predetermined locations in the backwater to attract and concentrate Asian carp in the closed portion of the backwater. Nine days after the first algal feeding attractant was added, a water gun barrier was established at the narrowest location on the backwater. The water gun barrier was established about 14 hours before commercial fishers began 3 consecutive days of carp removal; the water gun barrier operated continuously...
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Description of Work During 2014-2016, researchers at the USGS Lake Erie Biological Station in collaboration with the University of Toledo used three different gears to try to capture eggs and larvae of Grass Carp. Bongo nets, so named because when held up they resemble Bongo drums, are fine-mesh, cone-shaped nets that are towed through the water for 5 minutes. These nets capture floating eggs (Grass Carp eggs float) and any small fish that can’t swim fast enough to get out of the way. Light traps are fished at night and capture fish that are attracted to light – like Grass Carp. Light traps are fished for about 1 hour at a time in backwater areas where small fish seek cover from current and predators and abundant...
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Description of Work The USGS measures water levels at the adult Asian Carp barrier fence in Eagle Marsh and reports those data hourly to a USGS website. The barrier fence is an 8 foot tall, nearly 1,200 foot chain link fence across a part of Eagle Marsh. When flooding raises water levels at the fence, alerts are sent to State and local biologists and resource staff who respond and inspect the fence line for adult Asian Carp and debris accumulation. The USGS also measures streamflow and water temperature at two sites downstream from Eagle Marsh to evaluate how precipitation in area watersheds causes streamflow and water levels to increase and how temporary changes in flow directions downstream on Graham McCulloch...
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Description of Work Water guns are being placed in backwater habitats where bighead carp and silver carp currently are to see if they can be used to deny fish access to these preferred off-channel habitats or trap them in areas where they can be captured and removed. The energy emitted from water guns is being measured to determine the risk associated with water gun operation near navigation structures. These research topics are being investigated under laboratory (USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, La Crosse, WI) and field conditions (for example, a backwater area of the Illinois River near Morris, IL). Relevance & Impact If water guns alter the behavior of bighead carp or silver carp then they...
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Description of Work Studies assessing seasonal and spatial changes in digestive enzymes and gill raker morphology in bigheaded carps and native planktivorous fishes have been completed. Results indicate that bigheaded carps feed earlier in the year than native filter-feeding fishes and that certain digestive enzymes present in bigheaded carps are either not present in some native fishes or are much less active in the native species than in bigheaded carps. Results also indicate that the gill raker morphology of bigheaded carps is relatively constant with minimal seasonally or spatially relevant changes unlike that of the native gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) which had both seasonal and spatially correlated changes...