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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Effects of Overwinter Conditions on Growth and Survival of Invasive Species of Asian Carp

Apr 13, 2017 (All day)
245 Kottman Hall

An Honors Thesis Presentation will be given by Kevin Fisher. He will present Effects of Overwinter Conditions on Growth and Survival of Invasive Species of Asian Carp in 245 Kottman Hall. His presentation will begin at 11:10 a.m.

Bighead Carp, Hypophythalmichthys nobilis, one of the fish collectively referred to as Asian Carp, is a warm freshwater species native to southern and central Asia. They are currently invasive to the Mississippi River Basin and there are concerns about how Asian Carp may impact the multibillion-dollar annual U.S. sport fishery if they can invade the Great Lakes. However, a gap in scientific data exists regarding survival of young-of-year (YOY) Bighead Carp in winter water conditions similar to the Great Lakes. An experiment was conducted from November 2014 to April 2015 which examined the survival, growth, body composition, and biochemical adaptations of YOY Bighead Carp and Koi Carp, Cyprinus carpio, of different sizes subjected to simulated winter water temperatures. Koi Carp were selected as a control because they are the same species as Common Carp, which are known to survive winters in the Great Lakes. Two treatments were applied to simulate the presence or lack of winter food availability. The current study specifically examined mortality, lipids, fatty acid composition, mineral levels, crude protein and ash throughout the 130-day overwintering experiment. Measurements were taken first prior to simulated winter onset, second when 50% mortality of the stock (LC50) was achieved, and finally following extended exposure to winter water conditions. The results indicate that there is potential for YOY Bighead Carp to survive short winter water temperatures (4 months) if they can acquire sufficient energy reserves before the winter fasting period.

Konrad Dabrowski, advisor