Abstract

Invasive Bighead Carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and Silver Carp H. molitrix have infested and caused largescale ecological and economic damage to the Illinois, Mississippi, and Ohio rivers. We compiled demographic data from 42,995 fish from 23 pools in the Illinois, Mississippi, and Ohio rivers, which universities and management agencies previously collected as part of management, monitoring, and research activities. We used this data set to test whether demographic rates (length–weight relations including body condition, mortality, growth curves, and female maturity curves) varied among subpopulations across a gradient of invasion status. We found that length–weight relations and growth curves varied among subpopulations, whereas maturity curves did not. Our findings demonstrated spatial variability in demographic rates for Bighead and Silver carp across a broad geographic area in relation to invasion status and river conditions. Herein, we provide general subpopulation management options and present different hypotheses to explain the observed spatial variability in demographic rates.

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