Asian carp are migrating towards the Great Lakes and are threatening to invade this ecosystem, hence there is an immediate need to control their population. The transport of Asian carp eggs in potential spawning rivers is an important factor in its life history and recruitment success. An understanding of the transport, development, and fate of Asian carp eggs has the potential to create prevention, management, and control strategies before the eggs hatch and develop the ability to swim. However, there is not a clear understanding of the hydrodynamic conditions at which the eggs are transported and kept in suspension. This knowledge is imperative because of the current assumption that suspension is required for the eggs to survive. Herein, FluEgg (Fluvial Egg Drift Simulator), a three-dimensional Lagrangian model capable of evaluating the influence of flow velocity, shear dispersion and turbulent diffusion on the transport and dispersal patterns of Asian carp eggs is presented. The model's variables include not only biological behavior (growth rate, density changes) but also the physical characteristics of the flow field, such as mean velocities and eddy diffusivities. The performance of the FluEgg model was evaluated using observed data from published flume experiments conducted in China with water-hardened Asian carp eggs as subjects. FluEgg simulations show a good agreement with the experimental data. The model was also run with observed data from the Sandusky River in Ohio to provide a real-world demonstration case. This research will support the identification of critical hydrodynamic conditions (e.g., flow velocity, depth, and shear velocity) to maintain eggs in suspension, assist in the evaluation of suitable spawning rivers for Asian carp populations and facilitate the development of prevention, control and management strategies for Asian carp species in rivers and water bodies.
Additional publication details
Development of a Fluvial Egg Drift Simulator to evaluate the transport and dispersion of Asian carp eggs in rivers