Evaluating Upstream Passages By Bigheaded Carp at a Mississippi River High-Head Dam

Brent Knights, Andrea Fritts, Amanda Milde, Sara Tripp, Kyle Mosel, Ann Runstrom, James Lamer, Jon Vallazza

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Bigheaded carp (Hypophthalmichthys spp) populations continue to expand their range in North America. Potential control measures include deterrents (e.g., acoustic) and targeted harvest. Lock and Dam 19 in the Upper Mississippi River is a high-head dam that represents a ‘pinch-point’ for bigheaded carp populations because upstream passages are limited to the lock chamber. As such, Lock and Dam 19 could be a pivotal control point if deterrents could be successfully deployed there. Our objective was to use a telemetry array to determine patterns in behavior of bigheaded carp around the lock in relation to environmental factors (e.g. season, diel period, flow, temperature, and vessel passages). The telemetry array consisted of receivers below, in, and above the lock chamber. Acoustic transmitters were surgically implanted into 66 Silver Carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix and 53 Bighead Carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis. In 2017, 21 Silver Carp and 14 Bighead Carp were detected in the array. Eight of these completed upstream passages. These passages generally occurred with the upstream lockage of one barge followed by a downstream lockage of another barge. No passages occurred with recreational vessel lockages. This information will be useful for designing and evaluating the effectiveness of a potential deterrent at this location.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Fisheries Society & The Wildlife Society 2019 Joint Annual Conference, Sept. 27-Oct. 4, 2019, Reno, NV
StatePublished - 2019


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