Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2021WV004AIS

Evaluation of Potential Factors Limiting the Expansion of Invasive Carp in the Ohio and Tennessee-Cumberland River Basins; Lessons to Apply to the Upper Mississippi

Institute: West Virginia
USGS Grant Number:
Year Established: 2021 Start Date: 2021-09-01 End Date: 2024-08-31
Total Federal Funds: $151,395 Total Non-Federal Funds: $151,763

Principal Investigators: Brent Murry, Caroline C. Arantes

Abstract: Invasive carp species continue to expand and pose both economic and ecological threats to yet uninvaded regions. The upper Mississippi has been the epicenter of both invasive carp impacts as well as research and knowledge. The eastern portion of the Mississippi watershed, the Ohio and Tennessee-Cumberland (OTC) basins have received far less research attention, differ substantially in watershed characteristics, and are home to several aquatic biodiversity hotspots. In contrast to patterns observed in the upper Mississippi, the advance of invasive carp has stalled or progressed slower than expected in several sub-basins of the OTC, providing an opportunity to explore the factors that promote resistance to invasion. Based on extensive research in the upper Mississippi, a river’s flow regime (e.g. discharge), and sustained high flows in particular, appears to be a key factor promoting successful recruitment and strong year class strength (YCS) of invasive carp. We propose to investigate the hydrologic, watershed, anthropogenic, and biotic factors that are related to variation in YCS, and thereby, identify factors that may be related to ecosystem resistance to invasion. We are working closely with the multi-agency Ohio River Basin Asian Carp Partnership to assure that project outcomes serve management needs.