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Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

Using sound as a behavioral deterrent to Asian carps

Principal Investigators: Jon Amberg

Impact of UMESC Science

Results from this study will provide data evaluating sound as Asian carp control technology. This technology has the potential to be used by fishery management agencies to inhibit range expansion of Asian carp, primarily into the Great Lakes.


Sound appears to be an effective deterrent for bigheaded carps. This is easily demonstrated by the jumping behavior exhibited by silver carp when at high densities and a motor boat passes. Results from ponds and laboratory studies have indicated that both silver carp and bighead carp consistently respond to a complex sound, while many native fishes have a very limited response. There is significant interest in the use of sound to enhance dams and lock structures as fish barriers. This study will assess the feasibility and efficacy of sound in a controlled area similar to the size of a typical approach channel using sonar and telemetry.  The goal of this project is to determine how effective sound is as a barrier to bigheaded carps and better understand how sound affects fish behavior.


  • Determine the efficacy of sound as a barrier to bigheaded carp.
  • Describe changes in the spatial occupancy of bigheaded carps when a sound is deployed.


Figure 1: Mobile speaker for underwater acoustics

Figure 1: Mobile speaker for underwater acoustics



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