The effects of pulse pressure from seismic water gun technology on Northern Pike

Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
By: , and 



We examined the efficacy of sound pressure pulses generated from a water gun for controlling invasive Northern Pike Esox lucius. Pulse pressures from two sizes of water guns were evaluated for their effects on individual fish placed at a predetermined random distance. Fish mortality from a 5,620.8-cm3 water gun (peak pressure source level = 252 dB referenced to 1 μP at 1 m) was assessed every 24 h for 168 h, and damage (intact, hematoma, or rupture) to the gas bladder, kidney, and liver was recorded. The experiment was replicated with a 1,966.4-cm3 water gun (peak pressure source level = 244 dB referenced to 1 μP at 1 m), but fish were euthanized immediately. The peak sound pressure level (SPLpeak), peak-to-peak sound pressure level (SPLp-p), and frequency spectrums were recorded, and the cumulative sound exposure level (SELcum) was subsequently calculated. The SPLpeak, SPLp-p, and SELcum were correlated, and values varied significantly by treatment group for both guns. Mortality increased and organ damage was greater with decreasing distance to the water gun. Mortality (31%) by 168 h was only observed for Northern Pike exhibiting the highest degree of organ damage. Mortality at 72 h and 168 h postexposure was associated with increasing SELcum above 195 dB. The minimum SELcum calculated for gas bladder rupture was 199 dB recorded at 9 m from the 5,620.8-cm3 water gun and 194 dB recorded at 6 m from the 1,966.4-cm3water gun. Among Northern Pike that were exposed to the large water gun, 100% of fish exposed at 3 and 6 m had ruptured gas bladders, and 86% exposed at 9 m had ruptured gas bladders. Among fish that were exposed to pulse pressures from the smaller water gun, 78% exhibited gas bladder rupture. Results from these initial controlled experiments underscore the potential of water guns as a tool for controlling Northern Pike.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The effects of pulse pressure from seismic water gun technology on Northern Pike
Series title Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
DOI 10.1080/00028487.2013.802252
Volume 142
Issue 5
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher American Fisheries Society
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 12 p.
First page 1335
Last page 1346
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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