Acoustic deterrence of bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) to a broadband sound stimulus

Brooke J. Vetter, Kelsie A. Murchy, Aaron R. Cupp, Jon J. Amberg, Mark P. Gaikowski, Allen Mensinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Recent studies have shown the potential of acoustic deterrents against invasive silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix). This study examined the phonotaxic response of the bighead carp (H. nobilis) to pure tones (500–2000 Hz) and playbacks of broadband sound from an underwater recording of a 100 hp outboard motor (0.06–10 kHz) in an outdoor concrete pond (10 × 5 × 1.2 m) at the U.S. Geological Survey Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center in La Crosse, WI. The number of consecutive times the fish reacted to sound from alternating locations at each end of the pond was assessed. Bighead carp were relatively indifferent to the pure tones with median consecutive responses ranging from 0 to 2 reactions away from the sound source. However, fish consistently exhibited significantly (P < 0.001) greater negative phonotaxis to the broadband sound (outboard motor recording) with an overall median response of 20 consecutive reactions during the 10 min trials. In over 50% of broadband sound tests, carp were still reacting to the stimulus at the end of the trial, implying that fish were not habituating to the sound. This study suggests that broadband sound may be an effective deterrent to bighead carp and provides a basis for conducting studies with wild fish.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-171
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Great Lakes Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 International Association for Great Lakes Research


  • Acoustic deterrent
  • Bighead carp
  • Bioacoustics
  • Broadband sound


Dive into the research topics of 'Acoustic deterrence of bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) to a broadband sound stimulus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this