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Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

Use of micro-particles to control bigheaded carps

Principal Investigators: Jon Amberg

Impact of UMESC Science

This study will lead to the development of a micro-particle that is specifically toxic to bigheaded carps for use as a more targeted control measure in reducing the spread of these invasive species.


No current technology can specifically target bighead or silver carp for control within aquatic ecosystems. Available toxicants used in AIS control programs are non‐selective and are applied throughout the entire water column, resulting in equal exposures of native and invasive species alike. Developing targeted delivery systems with high specificity for bighead and silver carp would increase the ability of management agencies to control or limit Asian carp while minimizing potential impacts on native species. Targeted selectivity can be achieved by understanding the habits and physiological characteristics of the target organism, and incorporating into delivery system technologies that will exploit those characteristics. Considerations such as food particle size, digestive physiology, feeding attractants/stimulants, and identification of species-selective chemicals can be brought together to develop a targeted delivery system. Using technologies developed by the aquaculture industry to deliver nutrients to filter-feeding organisms or underdeveloped larval fishes we now have the capabilities deliver a control agent to a targeted organism like the bigheaded carps.


  1. Verify toxicity of antimycin-latent microparticles to bigheaded carps.
  2. Determine the minimum quantity (dose) of microparticles required to induce mortality of bigheaded carps.
  3. Evaluate if a feeding station will enhance targeted delivery of microparticles to bigheaded carps.
  4. Demonstrate efficacy of microparticles in a larger pond trial.
  5. Determine persistence of antimycin when incorporated into a microparticle.

Figure 2: Scientists capturing Asian Carp.

Figure 2: Scientists capturing Asian Carp.

Figure 1: Asian Carp mouth showing gills.

Figure 1: Asian Carp mouth showing gills.


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