Title

A First Look at the Population Demographics of Silver Carp in Kentucky Lake

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Dr. Timothy Spier

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract/Description

Invasive species continue to threaten aquatic ecosystems in the United States. Silver Carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix have successfully infiltrated much of the Mississippi River Basin, including Kentucky Lake – a large reservoir located on the Tennessee River in Western Kentucky. Although Silver Carp have been present in Kentucky Lake for over a decade, very little is known about the population, which makes it difficult to predict the potential impact of Silver Carp on native species. Silver Carp were collected from Kentucky Lake using gill nets, cast nets and commercial fishing. We collected population demographic data for Silver Carp within Kentucky Lake by measuring length, weight and gonad weight for all fish. Additionally, a pectoral fin ray was removed for aging. The data suggest that the population within Kentucky Lake is composed of one or two significant year-classes, but the capture of young-of-the-year Silver Carp implies that natural reproduction is occurring in Kentucky Lake. Based on gonadosomatic index, the data are unclear as to whether Silver Carp spawn once or twice a year. Compared to other Silver Carp populations, annual mortality rates of Silver Carp in Kentucky Lake were in the low range. Length-weight regressions show that Silver Carp in Kentucky Lake at a given length were relatively heavy. These data are critical for understanding the Silver Carp population within Kentucky Lake and will serve as a baseline for long-term monitoring.

Location

Barkley Room, Curris Center

Start Date

April 2016

End Date

April 2016

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Apr 20th, 9:00 AM Apr 20th, 4:00 PM

A First Look at the Population Demographics of Silver Carp in Kentucky Lake

Barkley Room, Curris Center

Invasive species continue to threaten aquatic ecosystems in the United States. Silver Carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix have successfully infiltrated much of the Mississippi River Basin, including Kentucky Lake – a large reservoir located on the Tennessee River in Western Kentucky. Although Silver Carp have been present in Kentucky Lake for over a decade, very little is known about the population, which makes it difficult to predict the potential impact of Silver Carp on native species. Silver Carp were collected from Kentucky Lake using gill nets, cast nets and commercial fishing. We collected population demographic data for Silver Carp within Kentucky Lake by measuring length, weight and gonad weight for all fish. Additionally, a pectoral fin ray was removed for aging. The data suggest that the population within Kentucky Lake is composed of one or two significant year-classes, but the capture of young-of-the-year Silver Carp implies that natural reproduction is occurring in Kentucky Lake. Based on gonadosomatic index, the data are unclear as to whether Silver Carp spawn once or twice a year. Compared to other Silver Carp populations, annual mortality rates of Silver Carp in Kentucky Lake were in the low range. Length-weight regressions show that Silver Carp in Kentucky Lake at a given length were relatively heavy. These data are critical for understanding the Silver Carp population within Kentucky Lake and will serve as a baseline for long-term monitoring.