, Volume 96, Issue 5, pp 617-629
Date: 15 Jul 2012

Location and timing of Asian carp spawning in the Lower Missouri River

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Abstract

We sampled for eggs of Asian carps, (bighead carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis, silver carp H. molitrix, and grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella) in 12 sites on the Lower Missouri River and in six tributaries from the months of May through July 2005 and May through June 2006 to examine the spatial and temporal dynamics of spawning activity. We categorized eggs into thirty developmental stages, but usually they could not be identified to species. We estimated spawning times and locations based on developmental stage, temperature dependent rate of development and water velocity. Spawning rate was higher in the daytime between 05:00 and 21:00 h than at night. Spawning was not limited to a few sites, as has been reported for the Yangtze River, where these fishes are native, but more eggs were spawned in areas of high sinuosity. We employ a sediment transport model to estimate vertical egg concentration profiles and total egg fluxes during spawning periods on the Missouri River. We did not identify substantial spawning activity within tributaries or at tributary confluences examined in this study.