Researchers start assembling an experimental Bigheaded (‘Asian’) carp deterrent system
An amplifier housing unit, MP3 player, over 1,100 feet of underwater speaker wire, and a portable shed serve as components of the control system for a carp deterrent system that Dr. Dan Zielinski and Dr. Peter Sorensen plan to have installed at Lock & Dam #8 near the Iowa border this summer. Once flood waters recede and final approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been granted, scuba divers will attach underwater transducers (speakers) to the outside doors of the lock chamber. When the chamber doors open, the transducers will play sounds that the researchers have shown in the laboratory to deflect Bighead and Silver carp away from the sound source, hopefully preventing these invasive species from locking through with boats and swimming upstream.
Installation of this sound deflection shield is the first step of a multi- year effort by researchers to identify relatively inexpensive and safe ways to enhance the deterrent properties of the existing Lock and Dam system without interfering with navigation. Next, researchers will study the swimming capabilities of adult Bighead and Silver carp as well as the velocities of flowing through the Dam gates. These data will be used by Dr. Zielinski to model ways the Army Corps of Engineers can modify its gate operations so that the velocities exceed the ability for Asian carp to swim through it without increasing scour. Additional studies are also being conducted to ensure there will be minimal effects on native fishes. Watch the Center’s Facebook page for updates on the installation later this summer!