Category: Hydraulics & Waterways

395227 - Analyzing Asian Carp Spawning Location and Timing using Coupled Hydrodynamics and Egg Transport Modeling

Tuesday, Jun 5
8:30 AM – 5:30 PM

The spread of Asian carp has caused public concern because of their exploding population and their competition for food and habitat with native species. Significant portions of riverine systems and water bodies in the United States are occupied by one or more species of Asian carp. The upstream movement of Asian carp in the Illinois Waterway poses a potential threat to the multi-billion-dollar fishing industry in the Great Lakes basin.
Understanding Asian carp reproduction, including the timing and locations of adult spawning and the transport and dispersal of eggs and larvae, is essential for managing the Asian carp population in the Illinois Waterway. Substantial information may be extracted from analyzing Asian carp eggs themselves, yet it remains challenging to determine their spawning location because the transport of Asian carp eggs depends on egg development, and river hydrologic and thermal conditions. The Fluvial Egg Drift Simulator (FluEgg) model uses a Lagrangian particle tracking model to simulate the transport and dispersal of Asian carp eggs from a known spawning location. The purpose this study is to implement an inverse particle tracking algorithm in FluEgg to determine possible spawning locations for eggs sampled at a known position. In June 2015, Asian carp eggs were collected at six sampling stations by the Illinois Natural History Survey. Diameters and development stages of eggs were analyzed. An unsteady HEC-RAS hydraulic model of the Illinois Waterway was developed to simulate the June 2015 flood event, which yields spatiotemporal predictions of discharge, water depth, and shear velocity. This coupling of river hydrodynamics and egg transport models can be a useful tool to analyze Asian carp spawning habitat. The results will be used to assess the habitat suitability for Asian carp spawning in the Mississippi River and Great Lakes basins.

Co-Authors: Zhenduo Zhu, United States – University at Buffalo, SUNY; David Soong, United States – USGS; Tatiana Garcia, United States – Optimatics

Mina Shahed Behrouz

University at Buffalo