Wetlands

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 883–888

Passing of northern pike and common carp through experimental barriers designed for use in wetland restoration

  • John R. P. French
  • Douglas A. Wilcox
  • S. Jerrine Nichols
Note

Abstract

Restoration plans for Metzger Marsh, a coastal wetland on the south shore of western Lake Erie, incorporated a fish-control system designed to restrict access to the wetland by large common carp (Cyprinus carpio). Ingress fish passageways in the structure contain slots into which experimental grates of varying size and shape can be placed to selectively allow entry and transfer of other large fish species while minimizing the number of common carp to be handled. We tested different sizes and shapes of grates in experimental tanks in the laboratory to determine the best design for testing in the field. We also tested northern pike (Esox lucius) because lack of access to wetland spawning habitat has greatly reduced their populations in western Lake Erie. Based on our results, vertical bar grates were chosen for installation because common carp were able to pass through circular grates smaller than body height by compressing their soft abdomens; they passed through rectangular grates on the diagonal. Vertical bar grates with 5-cm spacing that were installed across much of the control structure should limit access of common carp larger than 34 cm total length (TL) and northern pike larger than 70 cm. Vertical bar grates selected for initial field trials in the fish passageway had spacings of 5.8 and 6.6 cm, which increased access by common carp to 40 and 47 cm TL and by northern pike to 76 and 81 cm, respectively. The percentage of potential common carp biomass (fish seeking entry) that must be handled in lift baskets in the passageway increased from 0.9 to 4.8 to 15.4 with each increase in spacing between bars. Further increases in spacing would greatly increase the number of common carp that would have to be handled. The results of field testing should be useful in designing selective fish-control systems for other wetland restoration sites adjacent to large water bodies.

Key Words

coastal wetlands common carp fish-control system grates Great Lakes northern pike restoration 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Agresti, A. 1990. Categorical Data Analysis. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  2. Hartley, S. M. and E. C. Herdendorf. 1975. Abundance and population trends of Sandusky Bay fishes. p. 381–422.In B. D. Baker, W. B. Jackson, and B. L. Prater (eds.) Proceedings of the Sandusky River Basin Syposium. PLUARG/International Joint Commission, Great Lakes Regional Office, Windsor, Ontario, Canada.Google Scholar
  3. Herdendorf, E. C. 1987. The ecology of the coastal marshes of western Lake Erie: a community profile, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC, USA. Biological Report 85(7.9).Google Scholar
  4. Johnson, D. L., W. E. Lynch, Jr., and T. W. Morrison. 1997. Fish communities in a diked Lake Eric wetland and an adjacent undiked area. Wetlands 17:43–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. King, D. R. and G. S. Hunt. 1967. Effect of carp on vegetation in a Lake Erie marsh. Journal of Wildlife Management 31:181–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kowalski, K. P. and D. A. Wilcox. 1999. Use of historical and geospatial data to guide the restoration of a Lake Eric coastal marsh. Wetlands 19:858–868.Google Scholar
  7. Ogle, D. H., J. H. Selgeby, J. F. Savino, R. M. Newman, and M. G. Henry. 1996. Predation on ruffe by native fishes of the St. Louis River Estuary, Lake Superior, 1989–1991. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 16:115–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Randall, R. G., C. K. Minns, V. W. Cairns, and J. E. Moore. 1993. Effect of habitat degradation on the species composition and biomass of fish in Great Lakes areas of concern. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences No. 1941.Google Scholar
  9. Trautman, M. B. 1981. The Fishes of Ohio. Ohio State University Press, Columbus, OH, USA.Google Scholar
  10. Webb, P. W., G. D. LaLiberte, and A. J. Schrank. 1996. Does body and fin form affect the maneuverability of fish traversing vertical and horizontal slits? Environmental Biology of Fishes 46:7–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • John R. P. French
    • 1
  • Douglas A. Wilcox
    • 1
  • S. Jerrine Nichols
    • 1
  1. 1.Great Lakes Science CenterU.S. Geological SurveyAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations