The efficacy of small-scale removal of an invasive species (redbreast sunfish, Lepomis auritus) by electrofishing

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Miranda Annette Aiken (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Thomas Martin

Abstract: Redbreast sunfish (Lepomis auritus) in Richland Creek, Haywood County, NC, were studied todetermine if back-pack electrofishing was an effective method of removal of this invasive species. Threestudy sites were established, with 100 m removal reaches and paired 100 m control reaches which wereresampled at intervals over a nine month period to test for population depletion by electrofishing. Allredbreast sunfish were sacrificed from removal reaches while those captured in control reaches werereturned to the stream after marking by fin clipping. While electrofishing, any rock bass (Ambloplitesrupestris) captured were measured noted to look for re-establishment in areas where redbreast sunfish hadbeen removed.The results indicate that the population was significantly smaller in removal reaches; averagedover the period of the study, population estimates from removal reaches were approximately 50% lowerthan those from control reaches. However, there was not a significant difference of the interaction ofmonth by treatment. While the local populations of redbreast sunfish in removal reaches in RichlandCreek may have been reduced by electrofishing, fin-clipped fish from control reaches were occasionallycaptured in removal reaches suggesting upstream-downstream movement. Given that the small reservoirdownstream (Lake Junaluska) may serve as a source population, I suspect that a continuing program of removal would be needed in order to control the population by electrofishing. I was unable to detect aresponse of rock bass to the removal of redbreast sunfish due to their extremely low capture rate.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
electrofishing, invasive species, redbreast sunfish
Redbreast sunfish -- Control -- North Carolina -- Haywood County -- Evaluation
Introduced freshwater organisms -- Control -- North Carolina -- Haywood County -- Evaluation
Electric fishing -- North Carolina -- Haywood County -- Evaluation

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