Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Asian Carp Chemical Barrier Research

The goal of the research being performed through the INHS and NRES at the University of Illinois is to develop a chemical barrier approach for deterring movement of Asian carp from the Mississippi River into the Great Lakes basin.

asian carp

Research is currently being done both in the field and in our labs to investigate which chemical deterrent is the most effective method to use. Specifically, researchers are looking to see if low oxygen, high carbon dioxide levels, and/or chlorine can be proven to be effective deterrents.

The research being conducted is looking to see if lower levels of oxygen can induce physiological responses in silver carp that would be indicative of avoidance. Along those same lines, carbon dioxide levels are also being examined at varying levels to again look for a physiological response that may indicate a likelihood of behavioral avoidance.

Tests are additionally being conducted now to see if chlorine works as a potential sterilizing agent or barrier chemical. Also being examined are the impacts of size of the carp in response to barrier chemicals, with testing ranging from adults to juveniles/embryos.

asian carp

In addition to the use of chemical barriers, last fall we worked to use radio telemetry to quantify the efficacy of sonic cannons for repelling Asian carp. We are continuing to collect data to get a better picture of whether or not the acoustic devices can act as a deterrent to the movement of Asian carp. We will also determine if a combination of these two approaches would be the most effective deterrent.

Through research and determination, we are working fast and furiously to determine the best methods available for curbing Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes basin. Check back here for updates on where we stand on this research and its implementation.

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