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Dr. Michael B. Flinn; Ph.D

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Event

Abstract/Description

Kentucky Lake is the largest impoundment east of the Mississippi River and is located on the Tennessee River in western Kentucky. The reservoir has a diverse fishery that includes large populations of native planktivorous Gizzard Shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) and Threadfin Shad (D. petenense). Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) are an invasive planktivorous fish species that invaded Kentucky Lake in 2004 and have successfully established a reproducing population. Silver Carp and Gizzard Shad have been shown to feed on similar food items that include both phytoplankton and zooplankton. Therefore, diet overlap between Silver Carp and Gizzard Shad is a major concern to biologists, commercial fishermen, and recreational fishermen due to the potential for competition with commercial and sportfish populations. We used stable isotope analyses to determine trophic position and potential for competition between Silver Carp and Gizzard Shad in Kentucky Lake. Samples of fish and end members were collected at two embayment sites and one channel site. Preliminary results suggest that Silver Carp and Gizzard Shad are filling similar isotopic niches within Kentucky Lake. As populations of Silver Carp increase, the potential for competition with native fish species may increase and potentially result in ecosystem effects.

Location

Large Ballroom, Curris Center

Start Date

April 2016

End Date

April 2016

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Apr 18th, 12:00 PM Apr 18th, 2:00 PM

Isotopic Niche Analysis of Silver Carp and Gizzard Shad

Large Ballroom, Curris Center

Kentucky Lake is the largest impoundment east of the Mississippi River and is located on the Tennessee River in western Kentucky. The reservoir has a diverse fishery that includes large populations of native planktivorous Gizzard Shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) and Threadfin Shad (D. petenense). Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) are an invasive planktivorous fish species that invaded Kentucky Lake in 2004 and have successfully established a reproducing population. Silver Carp and Gizzard Shad have been shown to feed on similar food items that include both phytoplankton and zooplankton. Therefore, diet overlap between Silver Carp and Gizzard Shad is a major concern to biologists, commercial fishermen, and recreational fishermen due to the potential for competition with commercial and sportfish populations. We used stable isotope analyses to determine trophic position and potential for competition between Silver Carp and Gizzard Shad in Kentucky Lake. Samples of fish and end members were collected at two embayment sites and one channel site. Preliminary results suggest that Silver Carp and Gizzard Shad are filling similar isotopic niches within Kentucky Lake. As populations of Silver Carp increase, the potential for competition with native fish species may increase and potentially result in ecosystem effects.

 

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