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Wednesday, February 8 • 10:40am - 11:00am
Technical Session. Asian Carp Contracted Harvest in the Upper Mississippi River

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AUTHORS: James T. Lamer, Allison Lenaerts, Cortney Cox, Boone LaHood, Eli Lampo - Western Illinois University; Kevin Irons, Illinois Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Asian carp are widely distributed throughout the Mississippi River Basin, but their abundance above Lock and dam 19 remains lower than the rest of the basin below this structure.  Lock and dam 19 has never been at open river conditions since its installation, which restricts all fish passage to the lock chamber.  The pinch point at Lock and dam 19 and low density populations in the pools above allow us to use and assess the effectiveness of contracted harvest to reduce pressure on other upstream pinch points (i.e., Lock and dam 14, 15) and prevent establishment throughout the entire upper Mississippi River.  We are using contracted commercial fishers to capture bighead carp, silver carp, and grass carp (i.e., Asian carp).  Initial captures were jaw-tagged (n=714) and released to obtain population estimates using recapture events, and track the exploitation rate and effectiveness of harvest through time.  The first year of harvest removed nearly 3000 fish (60,000 lbs) with a tag recovery of 8.5%.   This initial year of harvest was valuable to determine patterns of fish aggregation related to hydrograph, determine the size structure of fish and the gear needed to target them, and evaluate the use of telemetered fish to inform removal.

Wednesday February 8, 2017 10:40am - 11:00am CST
Grand Ballroom F