Application of the FluEgg model to predict transport of Asian carp eggs in the Saint Joseph River (Great Lakes tributary)

Tatiana Garcia, Elizabeth A. Murphy, P. Ryan Jackson, Marcelo H. Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Fluvial Egg Drift Simulator (FluEgg) is a three-dimensional Lagrangian model that simulates the movement and development of Asian carp eggs until hatching based on the physical characteristics of the flow field and the physical and biological characteristics of the eggs. This tool provides information concerning egg development and spawning habitat suitability including: egg plume location, egg vertical and travel time distribution, and egg-hatching risk. A case study of the simulation of Asian carp eggs in the Lower Saint Joseph River, a tributary of Lake Michigan, is presented. The river hydrodynamic input for FluEgg was generated in two ways - using hydroacoustic data and using HEC-RAS model data. The HEC-RAS model hydrodynamic input data were used to simulate 52 scenarios covering a broad range of flows and water temperatures with the eggs at risk of hatching ranging from 0 to 93% depending on river conditions. FluEgg simulations depict the highest percentage of eggs at risk of hatching occurs at the lowest discharge and at peak water temperatures. Analysis of these scenarios illustrates how the interactive relation among river length, hydrodynamics, and water temperature influence egg transport and hatching risk. An improved version of FluEgg, which more realistically simulates dispersion and egg development, is presented. Also presented is a graphical user interface that facilitates the use of FluEgg and provides a set of post-processing analysis tools to support management decision-making regarding the prevention and control of Asian carp reproduction in rivers with or without Asian carp populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-386
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Great Lakes Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Asian carp eggs
  • FluEgg
  • Great Lakes
  • Hatching risk
  • Invasive species
  • Saint Joseph River
  • Spawning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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