Echosounder for Asian Carp Research - 30/08/2010

The invasive Asian Carp is threatening the Great Lakes' estimated USD7 billion fishery. The Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS, USA) is to contribute solving this biological problem using a DT-X digital echo sounder from BioSonics. Measurements facilitate to better understand how far the carp have advanced and the extent of the problem.

Matt Diana, Fisheries Aquatic Research Biologist and project leader from INHS, chose a BioSonics echosounder based on its capabilities in accurately assessing fish populations. The organisation already has experience working with BioSonics equipment and both state and provincial agencies across the Great Lakes have adopted the products as a standard instrument for fisheries stock assessment. The new echo sounder will allow Matt and his team to identify the location and size of individual carp in the river and make biomass estimates of the total carp population in different stretches of the river. The DT-X will be used in tandem with multiple gear types to evaluate the ability of different gears to detect Asian Carp.

Hydroacoustics will be employed to both detect the presence or absence of Asian Carp as well as determine densities where they are present. In doing so INHS hopes to aid in tracking the potential expansion of Asian Carp populations and help others to focus their efforts in stopping their advance.

Two species of Asian Carp-the bighead and silver carp-were imported into the southern United States to keep aquaculture facilities clean and to provide fresh fish for fish markets. Bighead and silver carp escaped into the wild in the 1980s and have been swimming northward ever since, overwhelming the Mississippi and Illinois River systems. Asian Carp are voracious eaters that compete directly with native fishes for food. The Great Lakes are now at serious risk from Asian Carp, which have been found recently in the Chicago Waterway System connecting the Great Lakes to the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.

Last updated: 27/02/2018