Occurrence and distribution of Asian carps in Louisiana

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In the 1970s, commercial fishers reported sightings of grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella in large rivers and associated backwaters of Louisiana; the first specimen in Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' fishery independent sampling was recorded in 1976. Beginning in the early 1980s, commercial fishers noted increasing populations of bighead carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and silver carp H. molitrix (together, the bigheaded carps). Populations of bigheaded carps appear to be increasing at a much slower rate than in the Midwest, possibly due to limited suitability of and access to backwater habitat for juvenile fish. In 2002, harvester reports of sporadic captures of "different-looking" grass carp indicated the possible presence of black carp Mylopharyngodon piceus. Because both normal diploid and triploid (in which triploidy has been induced to cause sterility) black carp have been stocked in the Mississippi basin, determination of the ploidy (number of chromosome sets) of these fishes is important. Since 2002, postmortem ploidy determinations using cells from eyeballs removed from six wild black carp captured in Louisiana showed each to be a normal diploid, indicative of breeding capability and potential reproducing populations. Although reported commercial landings of grass and bigheaded carps have been as high as 34,830 kg/year, limited market demand in past years resulted in many captures being discarded. A protocol for obtaining samples for easily determining ploidy is reported here. Accurate data on Asian carp distributions and their reproductive potential provides information to fisheries researchers that will be constructive in documenting the spread of these invasive species and in the assessment of risk to habitats.

Study Area

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Occurrence and distribution of Asian carps in Louisiana
Chapter 17
ISBN 9781934874233
Volume 74
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher American Fisheries Society
Publisher location Bethesda, Maryland
Contributing office(s) National Wetlands Research Center
Description 12 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Invasive Asian Carps in North America
First page 239
Last page 250
Conference Title Symposium, Invasive Asian Carps in North America: a Forum to Understand the Biology and Manage the Problem
Conference Location Peoria, IL
Conference Date August 22-23, 2006
Country United States
State Louisiana
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