Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 96, Issue 5, pp 617–629 | Cite as

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

  • Joseph E. Deters
  • Duane C. Chapman
  • Brandon McElroy


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.


Asian carp Spawning Egg drift Bighead carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis Silver carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix Grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella Modeling drift Invasive species Sinuosity 



We would like to thank all those whose efforts contributed to this paper. Brian Carollo, Jessica Counihan, Chad Vishy, Monique Koll, and Carl Korschgen assisted with field work. Jessica Counihan, Monique Koll, and Eric “Caleb” Troutt assisted in the lab. Aaron DeLonay provided Missouri River temperature data. Amy George assisted with staging eggs, and Roy Thorsby, Chad Vishy, Karl Anderson, Kim, and Marcia Nelson Chojnacki assisted with generation of Figures. Robin Calfee, Patrick Braaten, and Robb Jacobson provided early reviews of the manuscript. Reference to trade names does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. (outside the USA) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph E. Deters
    • 1
  • Duane C. Chapman
    • 2
  • Brandon McElroy
    • 3
  1. 1.Five Rivers, LLC under contract to U.S. Geological SurveyColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Geological SurveyColumbia Environmental Research CenterColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Geology & GeophysicsUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA

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