Modeling the potential for managing invasive common carp in temperate lakes by targeting their winter aggregations

Joseph D. Lechelt, Przemyslaw Bajer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is one of world’s most invasive fish and managers have long searched for practical control strategies for this species. In temperate systems, common carp forms large winter aggregations that can be located with telemetry and removed with seine nets. This has been viewed as an excellent management possibility, but its success has been mixed. Using a modeling approach, we demonstrate that the usefulness of winter seining in controlling common carp in temperate North American lakes depends on whether carp populations are driven by one of two distinct recruitment dynamics. In lakes where carp can easily recruit within systems from which they are being removed, such as within productive lakes with poor communities of micropredators, winter seining is unlikely to be effective. Even very high removal rates (90 % adults annually) were not sufficient to reach management goal (biomass <100 kg/ha) in such systems. However, in regions with strong predatory communities where carp can recruit only in outlying, seasonally unstable marshes, removal rates as low as 30 % annually or 50 % every other year were able to reduce carp biomass below the management threshold. Such removal rates are achievable as they fall within the range of empirically measured values. Because many carp populations are driven by external recruitment dynamics, strategically conducted winter removal could be used to control this species in a large number of systems across temperate North America and elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-839
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Invasions
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District, Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund in association with the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, and the Conservation Biology Graduate Program at the University of Minnesota, which provided graduate student scholarship to J. D. Lechelt.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


  • Cyprinus carpio
  • Judas technique
  • Removal
  • Telemetry
  • Winter seining


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