Acoustic fish repellents and attractants

Project Leader: Dr Ben Smith, SA Research and Development Institute

Aim: To develop a range of techniques incorporating attractants and repellents to remove carp from areas difficult to operate in effectively with current control methods.

Projects:  4.f.14 

Project summary

The application of underwater acoustical equipment to reproduce ‘fish sounds’ has been tested on cyprinids to illicit trained responses, restrict movements and to attract and concentrate dispersed populations. When used in conjunction with current integrated pest management technology, acoustics may increase carp harvesting success, particularly in lentic systems (ie wetlands) where traditional sensory attractants (pheromones, amino acids) that rely on current flow are not effective.

Key achievements

  • Several ‘attractive’ carp feeding sounds have been recorded and a sound bank of potential ‘repellent’ noises has been developed.
  • A mobile waterproof underwater playback sound station has also been constructed. Preliminary ‘system tests’ have been undertaken and the sound station has faithfully reproduced the attractive/repellent sounds via two underwater speakers, this is important as an attractive sound can be a repulsive sound if not played back at natural levels. This part of the work has been conducted in collaboration with technical experts from Deakin University, Warrnambool.

Key deliverables

  • Acoustic equipment verified for underwater acoustic attractant / repellent / stimulant trials.
  • Identification of stimulus sounds (ie other fish jumping) to optimise trapping rates in carp jump/push traps by stimulating jumping/pushing behaviour in carp outside of traps.
  • Identification of sounds (and synergistic physico-chemical cues ie flow, bubbles, food) to either attract carp or repel them from particular areas – for harvesting or for safe-guarding preferred habitats.
  • Broadened knowledge of how acoustics may contribute to the control and future management of other pest fishes.
  • Field and DVD demonstration of best acoustic attractants for harvest optimisation.

Project team

Qifeng Ye, Leigh Thwaites, David Fleer, Aaron Strawbridge.

Project partners

IA CRC, Murray-Darling Basin Authority, SA Research and Development Institute.

Further information

For further information, contact us.