Special Issue "Biology and Control of Invasive Fishes"

A special issue of Fishes (ISSN 2410-3888).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 June 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Peter W. Sorensen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55018, USA
Interests: biology and control of invasive fishes; behavior of fish; olfaction; fish reproductive biology; pheromones; fish migration; aquatic chemical ecology; marine biology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mankind has been moving fish around for millennia, sometimes on purpose, and just as often, not. Some of these introduced species have become super-abundant, upsetting ecosystem balance, earning them the distinction of being considered invasive.  Increasing effort is now being applied to both understand the causes of this phenomenon and its consequences, and then to control particular invasive species. This Special Edition has a relatively broad scope, and solicits articles that address how and why fish species have become invasive, their consequences, and how some species are presently controlled (or not) and why. Examples of successful control that are of broad significance to multiple situations and species are especially encouraged. Examples are also sought from both freshwater and marine systems. Theoretical manuscripts are welcomed, as well as papers that describe successful ongoing management approaches that might have not been described in peer-review literature before.

Prof. Dr. Peter W. Sorensen
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Fishes is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Article
Numeric Simulation Demonstrates That the Upstream Movement of Invasive Bigheaded Carp Can Be Blocked at Sets of Mississippi River Locks-and-Dams Using a Combination of Optimized Spillway Gate Operations, Lock Deterrents, and Carp Removal
Fishes 2021, 6(2), 10; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fishes6020010 - 26 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1125
Abstract
Invasive bigheaded carp are advancing up the Upper Mississippi River by passing through its locks-and-dams (LDs). Although these structures already impede fish passage, this role could be greatly enhanced by modifying how their spillway gates operate, adding deterrent systems to their locks, and [...] Read more.
Invasive bigheaded carp are advancing up the Upper Mississippi River by passing through its locks-and-dams (LDs). Although these structures already impede fish passage, this role could be greatly enhanced by modifying how their spillway gates operate, adding deterrent systems to their locks, and removing carp. This study examined this possibility using numeric modeling and empirical data, which evaluated all three options on an annual basis in both single LDs and pairs under different river flow conditions. Over 100 scenarios were modeled. While all three approaches showed promise, ranging from 8% to 73% reductions in how many carp pass a single LD, when employed together at pairs of LDs, upstream movement rates of invasive carp could be reduced 98–99% from current levels. Although modifying spillway gate operation is the least expensive option, its efficacy drops at high flows, so lock deterrents and/or removal using fishing/trapping are required to move towards complete blockage. Improved deterrent efficacy could also offset the need for more efficient removal. This model could help prioritize research and management actions for containing carp. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology and Control of Invasive Fishes)
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Article
Case Studies Demonstrate That Common Carp Can Be Sustainably Reduced by Exploiting Source-Sink Dynamics in Midwestern Lakes
Fishes 2020, 5(4), 36; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fishes5040036 - 04 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1013
Abstract
The common carp has been highly problematic in North American ecosystems since its introduction over a century ago. In many watersheds, its abundance appears to be driven by source-sink dynamics in which carp reproduce successfully in peripheral ponds that lack egg/larva micro-predators which [...] Read more.
The common carp has been highly problematic in North American ecosystems since its introduction over a century ago. In many watersheds, its abundance appears to be driven by source-sink dynamics in which carp reproduce successfully in peripheral ponds that lack egg/larva micro-predators which then serve as sources of recruits for deeper lakes. This manuscript describes how carp were sustainably reduced in two chains of lakes by disrupting source-sink dynamics in three steps. First, we ascertained whether lakes had problematic densities of carp that could be explained by source-sink dynamics. Second, ways to control recruitment were developed and implemented including: (i) aerating source ponds to reduce hypoxia and increase micro-predator abundance, (ii) blocking carp migration, and (iii) locating and removing adults from sinks using targeted netting guided by Judas fish. Third, we monitored and adapted. Using this strategy, the density of carp in 3 lakes in one chain was reduced from 177 kg/ha to ~100 kg/ha in 3 years and held constant for a decade. Similarly, adult density was reduced from 300 kg carp/ha in 2 lakes in the other chain to 25 kg/ha. Once carp densities were low, aluminum sulfate treatments became reasonable and once conducted, water quality improved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology and Control of Invasive Fishes)
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Article
Competition between Invasive Ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernua) and Native Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens) in Experimental Mesocosms
Fishes 2020, 5(4), 33; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fishes5040033 - 17 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1055
Abstract
Ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernua) were introduced to North America from Europe in the mid-1980s and based on similar diets and habit use may compete with yellow perch (Perca flavescens). To examine competitive interactions between invasive ruffe and native yellow perch, [...] Read more.
Ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernua) were introduced to North America from Europe in the mid-1980s and based on similar diets and habit use may compete with yellow perch (Perca flavescens). To examine competitive interactions between invasive ruffe and native yellow perch, individually marked perch and ruffe were placed in mesocosms in a small lake. Mesocosms allowed fish to interact and feed on the natural prey populations enclosed. In the first experiment, four treatments were assessed: 28 perch, 14 perch + 14 ruffe, 14 perch, and 7 perch + 7 ruffe. Yellow perch growth was significantly lower in the presence of ruffe (ANOVA, p = 0.005) than in treatments containing only perch. In a second experiment, an increasing density of one species was superimposed upon a constant density of the other in parallel treatment series. Growth rates of both ruffe and perch declined when ruffe density was increased (t test, p = 0.006). However, neither ruffe nor perch growth was affected by increasing perch density. Total stomach content mass of perch was significantly decreased by ruffe in both years (p < 0.02), but no effects of ruffe on the composition of perch diets were observed. Ruffe growth and food consumption was greater than that of perch for both experiments. Ruffe can outcompete yellow perch when both species depend on a limited benthic food resource. Thus there is reason for concern for the ecological effects of ruffe if they expand their range into Lake Erie or North American inland lakes that contain yellow perch. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology and Control of Invasive Fishes)
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Article
Geographic-Scale Harvest Program to Promote Invasivorism of Bigheaded Carps
Fishes 2020, 5(3), 29; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fishes5030029 - 01 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1185
Abstract
Invasive bigheaded carps, genus Hypophthalmichthys, are spreading throughout the Mississippi River basin. To explore the efficacy of a consumer-based market (i.e., invasivorism) to manage them, we developed a conceptual model and evaluated three harvest approaches—direct contracted removal, volume-based incentives (“fisher-side” control), and [...] Read more.
Invasive bigheaded carps, genus Hypophthalmichthys, are spreading throughout the Mississippi River basin. To explore the efficacy of a consumer-based market (i.e., invasivorism) to manage them, we developed a conceptual model and evaluated three harvest approaches—direct contracted removal, volume-based incentives (“fisher-side” control), and set-quota harvest (“market-side” control). We quantified the efficacy of these approaches and potential population impact in the Illinois River. Contracted removal was effective for suppressing small populations at the edge of the range but cannot support a market. “Fisher-side” removals totaled 225,372 kg in one year. However, participation was low, perhaps due to reporting requirements for fishers. The “market-side”, set-quota approach removed >1.3 million kg of bigheaded carp in less than 6 months. Larger, older fish were disproportionately harvested, which may hinder the ability to suppress population growth. Total density declined in one river reach, and harvest may reduce upstream movement toward the invasion fronts. With sufficient market demand, harvest may control bigheaded carp. However, lack of processing infrastructure and supply chain bottlenecks could constrain harvest, particularly at low commodity prices. Given the geographical scale of this invasion and complicated harvest logistics, concerns about economic dependence on invasivorism that encourage stock enhancement are likely unmerited. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology and Control of Invasive Fishes)
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Article
Use of Environmental DNA to Detect Grass Carp Spawning Events
Fishes 2020, 5(3), 27; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fishes5030027 - 27 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1146
Abstract
The timing and location of spawning events are important data for managers seeking to control invasive grass carp populations. Ichthyoplankton tows for grass carp eggs and larvae can be used to detect spawning events; however, these samples can be highly debris-laden, and are [...] Read more.
The timing and location of spawning events are important data for managers seeking to control invasive grass carp populations. Ichthyoplankton tows for grass carp eggs and larvae can be used to detect spawning events; however, these samples can be highly debris-laden, and are expensive and laborious to process. An alternative method, environmental DNA (eDNA) technology, has proven effective in determining the presence of aquatic species. The objectives of this project were to assess the use of eDNA collections and quantitative eDNA analysis to assess the potential spawning of grass carp in five reservoir tributaries, and to compare those results to the more traditional method of ichthyoplankton tows. Grass carp eDNA was detected in 56% of sampling occasions and was detected in all five rivers. Concentrations of grass carp eDNA were orders of magnitude higher in June, corresponding to elevated discharge and egg presence. Grass carp environmental DNA flux (copies/h) was lower when no eggs were present and was higher when velocities and discharge increased and eggs were present. There was a positive relationship between grass carp eDNA flux and egg flux. Our results support the further development of eDNA analysis as a method to detect the spawning events of grass carp or other rheophilic spawners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology and Control of Invasive Fishes)
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Article
Yellowstone Lake Ecosystem Restoration: A Case Study for Invasive Fish Management
Fishes 2020, 5(2), 18; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fishes5020018 - 12 Jun 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3052
Abstract
Invasive predatory lake trout Salvelinus namaycush were discovered in Yellowstone Lake in 1994 and caused a precipitous decrease in abundance of native Yellowstone cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri. Suppression efforts (primarily gillnetting) initiated in 1995 did not curtail lake trout population growth or [...] Read more.
Invasive predatory lake trout Salvelinus namaycush were discovered in Yellowstone Lake in 1994 and caused a precipitous decrease in abundance of native Yellowstone cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri. Suppression efforts (primarily gillnetting) initiated in 1995 did not curtail lake trout population growth or lakewide expansion. An adaptive management strategy was developed in 2010 that specified desired conditions indicative of ecosystem recovery. Population modeling was used to estimate effects of suppression efforts on the lake trout and establish effort benchmarks to achieve negative population growth (λ < 1). Partnerships enhanced funding support, and a scientific review panel provided guidance to increase suppression gillnetting effort to >46,800 100-m net nights; this effort level was achieved in 2012 and led to a reduction in lake trout biomass. Total lake trout biomass declined from 432,017 kg in 2012 to 196,675 kg in 2019, primarily because of a 79% reduction in adults. Total abundance declined from 925,208 in 2012 to 673,983 in 2019 but was highly variable because of recruitment of age-2 fish. Overall, 3.35 million lake trout were killed by suppression efforts from 1995 to 2019. Cutthroat trout abundance remained below target levels, but relative condition increased, large individuals (> 400 mm) became more abundant, and individual weights doubled, probably because of reduced density. Continued actions to suppress lake trout will facilitate further recovery of the cutthroat trout population and integrity of the Yellowstone Lake ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology and Control of Invasive Fishes)
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Review

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Review
Eradication of the Invasive Common Carp, Cyprinus carpio from a Large Lake: Lessons and Insights from the Tasmanian Experience
Fishes 2021, 6(1), 6; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fishes6010006 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1460
Abstract
Common carp (Cyprinus carpio, L. 1758) are the most abundant pest fish species in Australia, detrimental to ecosystem integrity and values, and in need of suitable management solutions. In January 1995, this destructive pest was discovered in two large, connected Tasmanian [...] Read more.
Common carp (Cyprinus carpio, L. 1758) are the most abundant pest fish species in Australia, detrimental to ecosystem integrity and values, and in need of suitable management solutions. In January 1995, this destructive pest was discovered in two large, connected Tasmanian lakes—Lakes Crescent (23 km2) and Sorell (54 km2). After an initial assessment, carp were immediately contained to these waters using screens to prevent their escape down-stream, followed by swift legislation to enforce closure of the lakes to the public. Assessment and evaluation of carp numbers occurred throughout the eradication program, with effort focused on Lake Crescent. Beginning with undirected removal, techniques progressively evolved to more sophisticated targeted removal with assistance from biotelemetry, in conjunction with gill netting and electro-fishing. Real-time population estimates and in situ observations resulted in a detailed cumulative understanding of carp population dynamics, behaviour and seasonal habitat choice. This allowed strategic deployment of fences to block access to marshes, and the installation of steel traps within the fences. These gears specifically prevented spawning opportunities, while concurrently capturing mature fish. Following 12 years of adaptive and integrated effort, 7797 carp (fry, juvenile and adult) were captured from Lake Crescent, with the last carp being caught in December 2007. The subsequent 14 years of monitoring has not resulted in the capture of any carp, confirming the successful eradication of carp from Lake Crescent. These management practices have been successfully replicated in the larger Lake Sorell, where 41,499 carp (fry, juvenile and adult) have been removed. It is now estimated that there are few, if any carp remaining. Collectively, the techniques and strategies described here were reliable, and can be applied as a model to control or eradicate pest populations of carp in freshwater lakes elsewhere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology and Control of Invasive Fishes)
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Review
Achieving Sea Lamprey Control in Lake Champlain
Fishes 2021, 6(1), 2; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fishes6010002 - 26 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1244
Abstract
The control of parasitic sea lamprey in Lake Champlain has been a necessary component of its fishery restoration and recovery goals for 30 years. While adopting the approach of the larger and established sea lamprey control program of the Laurentian Great Lakes, local [...] Read more.
The control of parasitic sea lamprey in Lake Champlain has been a necessary component of its fishery restoration and recovery goals for 30 years. While adopting the approach of the larger and established sea lamprey control program of the Laurentian Great Lakes, local differences emerged that shifted management focus and effort as the program evolved. Increased investment in lamprey assessment and monitoring revealed under-estimations of population density and distribution in the basin, where insufficient control efforts went unnoticed. As control efforts improved in response to a better understanding of the population, the effects of lamprey on the fishery lessened. A long-term evaluation of fishery responses when lamprey control was started, interrupted, delayed, and enhanced provided evidence of a recurring relationship between the level of control effort applied and the measured suppression of the parasitic sea lamprey population. Changes in levels of control efforts over time showed repeatedly that measurable suppression of the parasitic population required effective control of 80% of the known larval population. Understanding the importance of assessment and monitoring and the relationship between control effort and population suppression has led to recognition that a comprehensive, not incremental, approach is needed to achieve effective control of sea lamprey in Lake Champlain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology and Control of Invasive Fishes)
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Review
Development of Carbon Dioxide Barriers to Deter Invasive Fishes: Insights and Lessons Learned from Bigheaded Carp
Fishes 2020, 5(3), 25; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fishes5030025 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1075
Abstract
Invasive species are a threat to biodiversity in freshwater. Removing an aquatic invasive species following arrival is almost impossible, and preventing introduction is a more viable management option. Bigheaded carp are an invasive fish spreading throughout the Midwestern United States and are threatening [...] Read more.
Invasive species are a threat to biodiversity in freshwater. Removing an aquatic invasive species following arrival is almost impossible, and preventing introduction is a more viable management option. Bigheaded carp are an invasive fish spreading throughout the Midwestern United States and are threatening to enter the Great Lakes. This review outlines the development of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) as a non-physical barrier that can be used to deter the movement of fish and prevent further spread. Carbon dioxide gas could be used as a deterrent either to cause avoidance (i.e., fish swim away from zones of high CO2), or by inducing equilibrium loss due to the anesthetic properties of CO2 (i.e., tolerance). The development of CO2 as a fish deterrent started with controlled laboratory experiments demonstrating stress and avoidance, and then progressed to larger field applications demonstrating avoidance at scales that approach real-world scenarios. In addition, factors that influence the effectiveness of CO2 as a fish barrier are discussed, outlining conditions that could make CO2 less effective in the field; these factors that influence efficacy would be of interest to managers using CO2 to target other fish species, or those using other non-physical barriers for fish. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology and Control of Invasive Fishes)
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Review
Biocontrol of the Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio) in Australia: A Review and Future Directions
Fishes 2020, 5(2), 17; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fishes5020017 - 02 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1793
Abstract
Invasive pest species are recognized as one of the important drivers of reduced global biodiversity. In Australia, the 267 invasive plant, animal and microbial species, established since European colonization in the 1770s, have been unequivocally declared the most important threat to species diversity [...] Read more.
Invasive pest species are recognized as one of the important drivers of reduced global biodiversity. In Australia, the 267 invasive plant, animal and microbial species, established since European colonization in the 1770s, have been unequivocally declared the most important threat to species diversity in this country. One invasive pest, the common carp (Cyprinus carpio), has been targeted in an integrated pest management plan that might include cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3) as a potential biocontrol agent. The species-specificity of the released virus (and of field variants that will inevitably arise) has been assessed, and the virus judged to be safe. It has also been hypothesised that, because the virulence of the CyHV-3 will likely decline following release, the virus should be used strategically: initially, the aim would be to markedly reduce numbers of carp in naive populations, and then some other, as yet uncertain, complementary broad-scale control measure would knock-down carp numbers even further. Brief results are included from recent studies on the modelling of release and spread of the virus, the ecological and social concerns associated with virus release, and the restoration benefits that might be expected following carp control. We conclude that, while further work is required (on the virus, the target species, environmental issues, and especially the identification of a suitable broad-scale complementary control measure), optimism must prevail in order to ensure an eventual solution to this important environmental problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology and Control of Invasive Fishes)
Review
A Decade in Review: Alaska’s Adaptive Management of an Invasive Apex Predator
Fishes 2020, 5(2), 12; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fishes5020012 - 21 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1880
Abstract
Northern pike are an invasive species in southcentral Alaska and have caused the decline and extirpation of salmonids and other native fish populations across the region. Over the last decade, adaptive management of invasive pike populations has included population suppression, eradication, outreach, angler [...] Read more.
Northern pike are an invasive species in southcentral Alaska and have caused the decline and extirpation of salmonids and other native fish populations across the region. Over the last decade, adaptive management of invasive pike populations has included population suppression, eradication, outreach, angler engagement, and research to mitigate damages from pike where feasible. Pike suppression efforts have been focused in open drainages of the northern and western Cook Inlet areas, and eradication efforts have been primarily focused on the Kenai Peninsula and the municipality of Anchorage. Between 2010 and 2020, almost 40,000 pike were removed from southcentral Alaska waters as a result of suppression programs, and pike have been successfully eradicated from over 20 lakes and creeks from the Kenai Peninsula and Anchorage, nearly completing total eradication of pike from known distributions in those areas. Northern pike control actions are tailored to the unique conditions of waters prioritized for their management, and all efforts support the goal of preventing further spread of this invasive aquatic apex predator to vulnerable waters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology and Control of Invasive Fishes)
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