Asian Carp Sampling Summary - Week of December 12, 2011

A preliminary sampling summary for the week of December 12, 2011 is included below. This will be the final weekly summary for the year.  As such, additional information has been included to update stakeholders on recent activities for two projects not outlined in the December 12 weekly schedule.  An annual summary report for all of the projects in the 2011 Monitoring Plan is currently in preparation and will be made available on the website early next year.  We will start-up the weekly schedules and summaries again in March/April 2012.  Happy Holidays to all!

Bottom Line: Monitoring took place this past week at and below the Dispersal Barrier (see schedule for the week of December 12). No BIGHEAD or SILVER carp were observed at the Barrier nor were any captured or observed in new locations downstream of the Barrier.

Exploratory Gear Development Project
The USFWS-Columbia reports having success capturing Asian carp with a modified Paupier net during recent trial runs in the Missouri River.  The Paupier is a framed net used in the Gulf of Mexico inshore shrimp industry. Two large gates (wings) on either side of the vessel, support a net that is designed for maximum water flow and minimum water pressure build up (internal pressure wave).  The prototype nets were designed in collaboration with a net builder from Louisiana  and have an opening of  2 x 72 feet² and a length of 10 meters.  They were made of 5.25-inch stretched mesh and capable of speeds of 10 knots with the 22-foot long river vessel and 150 horsepower outboard engine.  Ease of set up and deployment may make these nets useful for spot sampling Asian carp in the first five feet of the water column in slack water or high flow river habitats.  Additional modifications to net design are planned and future trials will take place in the Mississippi and Illinois rivers during the coming months.  You can view the Paupier in action at:

Bighead Carp In Urban Fishing Ponds
Adult bighead carp have periodically been reported, captured, and removed from urban fishing ponds throughout Illinois since the late 1990s and have been noted as of late in fee fishing lakes and ponds in other Midwestern states. Recent sampling by IDNR in Chicago area fishing ponds with DC electrofishing gear and trammel/gill nets this past fall resulted in catches of 17 adult bighead carp (48-80 pounds) from Flatfoot Lake in Dolton, Illinois and three adult bighead carp (56-62 pounds) from Schiller Pond in Schiller Park, Illinois. Sampling in two additional ponds produced no catches or observation of bighead carp. Silver carp have not been captured or observed in any Illinois urban fishing ponds. A growing body of evidence suggests that bighead carp likely were introduced accidentally in contaminated shipments of channel catfish made during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Changes in State and Federal regulations banning the shipment of live bighead carp appear to have stopped this source of fish, as no sighting or captures of young bighead carp have been reported in recent years.  A report summarizing IDNR's experience with this alternative Asian carp vector will soon be posted on the website. The report outlines a monitoring plan that IDNR has put into place for Illinois ponds and recommends that other states with urban fishing programs or fee fishing lakes consider this potential bighead carp introduction pathway.