Invasive silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) dominate large regions of the Mississippi River drainage, outcompete native species, and are notorious for their prolific and unusual jumping behavior. High densities of juvenile and adult (~25 kg) carp are known to jump up to 3 m above the water surface in response to moving watercraft. Broadband sound recorded from an outboard motor (100 hp at 32 km/hr) can modulate their behavior in captivity; however, the response of wild silver carp to broadband sound has yet to be determined. In this experiment, broadband sound (0.06–10 kHz) elicited jumping behavior from silver carp in the Spoon River near Havana, IL independent of boat movement, indicating acoustic stimulus alone is sufficient to induce jumping. Furthermore, the number of jumping fish decreased with subsequent sound exposures. Understanding silver carp jumping is not only important from a behavioral standpoint, it is also critical to determine effective techniques for controlling this harmful species, such as herding fish into a net for removal.
Additional publication details
Management implications of broadband sound in modulating wild silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) behavior