Abstract: Bubble curtains are a relatively simple type of behavioral deterrent that produces acoustic and hydrodynamic fields that could serve as a management tool to reduce movement of Asian carp species in many locations. In a proof-of-concept laboratory study, we tested whether two Asian carp species, the Silver Carp Hypopthalmichthys molitrix and the Bighead Carp H. nobilis, will avoid bubble curtains, and to the same extent as the Common Carp Cyprinus carpio, which has a similarly specialized hearing system. We explored the theory and application of a bubble curtain deflection screen using a split-passage experimental channel equipped with angled bubble curtains while mapping both pressure and particle motion (sound) fields. The bubble curtain reduced passage of all three species through the experimental channel by 73–80% while producing sound between 100 and 1000 Hz at 145 dB, well within the hearing range of all three carp. While Common Carp were diverted to an unblocked channel, the Asian carp species reduced overall swimming activity, suggesting a slightly greater overall sensitivity. These results suggest bubble curtains could serve as viable and inexpensive deterrent systems to inhibit the movement of both Asian carp and Common Carp into shallow waters while having minimal impacts on other fish. Received June 10, 2015; accepted November 12, 2015 Published online March 16, 2016
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© American Fisheries Society 2016.