In-situ tests of sound-bubble-strobe light barrier technologies to prevent range expansions of Asian carp [presentation]

Blake Ruebush, Greg G. Sass, John H. Chick

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


Bighead (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) and silver (H. molitrix) carp (collectively, Asian carp) have invaded the Mississippi River Basin and successfully established populations in the Illinois River, where they have negatively influenced native fishes and now pose an imminent threat to invading Lake Michigan through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. Sound-bubble-strobe light barrier (SBSLB) technologies may have the potential to slow Asian carp range expansions; for example, a sound-bubble barrier was 95% effective at deterring bighead carp passage in a hatchery raceway experiment. In 2009-2010, we tested the effectiveness of a SBSLB at repelling Asian and non-Asian carp (all other fishes tested) within Quiver Creek, a tributary to the Illinois River. To test barrier effectiveness, Asian carp and non-Asian carp were removed from upstream of the barrier, marked, and released downstream of the SBSLB. Asian carp were also collected from the mainstem Illinois River and transplanted downstream of the barrier. Trials were conducted with the SBSLB ON and OFF to determine upstream passage rates. Short-term and extended trials were also conducted to test for differences in upstream passage rates using sound, bubbles, and strobe lights (flashing and not flashing) versus sound and bubbles only. Barrier effectiveness was evaluated by upstream recaptures. Two of 575 marked silver carp and 85 of 2,937 marked non-Asian carp breached the barrier and were recaptured. No marked bighead carp (n=101) made upstream passage. Our results suggest that SBSLB technologies could be used as a deterrent system to repel Asian carp, but should not be used as an absolute barrier to prevent range expansions. Potential negative influences of this technology on non-target fishes must also be evaluated prior to implementation as a management tool.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2011 Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society (AFS 2011); 4-8 Sep 2011 Seattle, Washington
StatePublished - 2011


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