A mark-recapture population estimate for invasive silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) in the La Grange Reach, Illinois River

Greg G. Sass, Thad R. Cook, Kevin S. Irons, Michael A. McClelland, Nerissa N. Michaels, T. Matthew O'Hara, M. R. Stroub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Invasive silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) populations have expanded greatly in the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS) since their introduction in the early 1970s. We conducted a Chapman-modified, continuous Schnabel mark-recapture population and biomass estimate for silver carp (106-901 mm) in the La Grange reach, Illinois River during 2007-2008. We estimated a total of 328,192 (95% CI 231,226-484,474) silver carp (2,544 per river km 1,792-3,756) comprising 705 (95% CI; 496-1,040) metric tons of biomass (5.5 metric tons per river km 3.8-8.1). Long Term Resource Monitoring Program (LTRMP) data from the La Grange reach showed an exponential increase in silver carp catches since 1998, with an intrinsic rate of increase approaching 84%. In 2008, silver carp comprised about 51% of the total LTRMP annual fish collection. To our knowledge, this large river reach may contain the greatest ambient densities of wild silver carp in the world. Our findings provide a target for reduction efforts and also emphasize the importance of the La Grange reach as a source population for potential expansion of the species to the Laurentian Great Lakes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-436
Number of pages4
JournalBiological Invasions
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2010

Keywords

  • INHS
  • Illinois River
  • Silver carp
  • Invasive species
  • Mark-recapture
  • Hypophthalmichthys molitrix
  • Population estimate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

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