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Thermal and hydrologic suitability of Lake Erie and its major tributaries for spawning of Asian carps

Journal of Great Lakes Research

By:
, ,
DOI: 10.1016/j.jglr.2011.11.015

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Abstract

Bighead carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis, silver carp H. molitrix, and grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella (hereafter Asian carps) have expanded throughout the Mississippi River basin and threaten to invade Lakes Michigan and Erie. Adult bighead carp and grass carp have been captured in Lake Erie, but self-sustaining populations probably do not exist. We examined thermal conditions within Lake Erie to determine if Asian carps would mature, and to estimate time of year when fish would reach spawning condition. We also examined whether thermal and hydrologic conditions in the largest tributaries to western and central Lake Erie were suitable for spawning of Asian carps. We used length of undammed river, predicted summer temperatures, and predicted water velocity during flood events to determine whether sufficient lengths of river are available for spawning of Asian carps. Most rivers we examined have at least 100 km of passable river and summer temperatures suitable (> 21 C) for rapid incubation of eggs of Asian carps. Predicted water velocity and temperature were sufficient to ensure that incubating eggs, which drift in the water column, would hatch before reaching Lake Erie for most flood events in most rivers if spawned far enough upstream. The Maumee, Sandusky, and Grand Rivers were predicted to be the most likely to support spawning of Asian carps. The Black, Huron, Portage, and Vermilion Rivers were predicted to be less suitable. The weight of the evidence suggests that the largest western and central Lake Erie tributaries are thermally and hydrologically suitable to support spawning of Asian carps.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Thermal and hydrologic suitability of Lake Erie and its major tributaries for spawning of Asian carps
Series title:
Journal of Great Lakes Research
DOI:
10.1016/j.jglr.2011.11.015
Volume
38
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2012
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier
Publisher location:
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contributing office(s):
Great Lakes Science Center
Description:
8 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Great Lakes Research
First page:
159
Last page:
166
Country:
United States
Other Geospatial:
Lake Erie