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Open AccessArticle

Geographic-Scale Harvest Program to Promote Invasivorism of Bigheaded Carps

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 555 Lester Avenue, La Crosse, WI 54650, USA
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Illinois Department of Natural Resources, 700 South 10th Street, Havana, IL 62644, USA
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Riverence Holdings LLC, 604 W Franklin Street, Boise, ID 83702, USA
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Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences, 310 Jessup Hall, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
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Center for Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, 1125 Lincoln Drive, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA
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Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, 2595 Ingraham Street, San Diego, CA 92109, USA
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lllinois Department of Natural Resources, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Fishes 2020, 5(3), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/fishes5030029
Received: 17 July 2020 / Revised: 17 August 2020 / Accepted: 24 August 2020 / Published: 1 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology and Control of Invasive Fishes)
Invasive bigheaded carps, genus Hypophthalmichthys, are spreading throughout the Mississippi River basin. To explore the efficacy of a consumer-based market (i.e., invasivorism) to manage them, we developed a conceptual model and evaluated three harvest approaches—direct contracted removal, volume-based incentives (“fisher-side” control), and set-quota harvest (“market-side” control). We quantified the efficacy of these approaches and potential population impact in the Illinois River. Contracted removal was effective for suppressing small populations at the edge of the range but cannot support a market. “Fisher-side” removals totaled 225,372 kg in one year. However, participation was low, perhaps due to reporting requirements for fishers. The “market-side”, set-quota approach removed >1.3 million kg of bigheaded carp in less than 6 months. Larger, older fish were disproportionately harvested, which may hinder the ability to suppress population growth. Total density declined in one river reach, and harvest may reduce upstream movement toward the invasion fronts. With sufficient market demand, harvest may control bigheaded carp. However, lack of processing infrastructure and supply chain bottlenecks could constrain harvest, particularly at low commodity prices. Given the geographical scale of this invasion and complicated harvest logistics, concerns about economic dependence on invasivorism that encourage stock enhancement are likely unmerited. View Full-Text
Keywords: invasivorism; bigheaded carp; commercial fishing; Hypophthalmichthys; Illinois River invasivorism; bigheaded carp; commercial fishing; Hypophthalmichthys; Illinois River
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Bouska, W.W.; Glover, D.C.; Trushenski, J.T.; Secchi, S.; Garvey, J.E.; MacNamara, R.; Coulter, D.P.; Coulter, A.A.; Irons, K.; Wieland, A. Geographic-Scale Harvest Program to Promote Invasivorism of Bigheaded Carps. Fishes 2020, 5, 29.

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