Thames River Common Carp Movement Study
Project Title
Common Carp habitat selection and site fidelity in the Thames River
Project Code
Project Duration
June 2016 - October 2017
Project Description
Common Carp is a large-bodied, mobile species that is widespread through, but not native to, the Great Lakes basin. It continues to cause localized damage in wetland habitats, but its full ecological impacts are unknown, as pre-invasion data are lacking in North America. Common Carp is frequently used as a surrogate species for research related to Asian carps, a group of related invasive carp species, threatening to enter the Great Lakes basin and cause significant ecological and socio-economic impacts. Understanding how invasive carps move seasonally within and between habitats is vital to preventing their establishment and spread. Common Carp is currently established in the Great Lakes; it reaches large sizes similar to those of Asian carp species and also moves over great distances (Dettmers and Creque 2004). It is also illegal to possess live Asian carps in Canada; therefore a surrogate species is required for research. Our study investigated site fidelity in Common Carp. Fish were captured near and further upstream from the mouth of the Thames River, tagged, and released in Lake St. Clair, outside of the Thames River mouth. Receivers were placed throughout the Thames River (and tributaries) to determine whether fish remained in the lake, returned to their original site of capture, or moved to a new site in the river. Additional receivers were deployed at various river mouths throughout the Huron-Erie Corridor and western Lake Erie to determine if any fish undertook longer distance movements.
Participating Organizations