Carp movement and migration in the MDB

Project Leader: Paul Brown, Vic Department of Primary Industries

Aim: To mark and recapture (or re-locate) individual carp to determine temporal and spatial movement patterns of carp in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB)

Project: 4.f.6

Project summary

This major, long-term project coordinates a program of marking and recapturing (or re-locating) individual carp to determine temporal and spatial movement patterns of carp.

To efficiently plan and implement integrated pest management for carp there is a strong need to understand when, where, and why carp move around the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) over time scales relevant to their life-history (that is, decades).

Experience with integrated pest management for other major pests (for example, with mice and rabbits) has shown that knowledge of movement and spatial structure is essential for realistic evaluation of success.

Key achievements

  • 21 pairs of acoustic receiver / data-loggers installed in strategic locations around the MDB
  • 234 carp implanted with CAT and PIT tags
  • Of the 234 tagged carp to date, there have been 1.3 million detections on the VR2 acoustic loggers
  • Five tagged carp recaptured (4 angled, 1 electrofished)
  • Emigration and source-sink dynamics are a key knowledge-gap and required as direct input into multi-stock CarpSim models. Information from this project is starting to fill this gap. Simulation of realistic levels of stock-interaction is now possible.
  • The phase two extension of this project will provide for collection of data over an extended time frame and thus improve the quality of the data.

Key deliverables

  • A publication for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

Project team

Paul Brown, Cameron McGregor, Ian Wooden, Dean Gilligan, Daniel Steel.

Project partners

IA CRC, Vic Department of Primary Industries, Industry and Investment NSW, Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

Further information

Proposed: Brown P and Robertson S (2009) Population modelling for pest fish management: relative effects of spatial structuring and movement patterns. For submission to Journal of Freshwater Biology.