One of the most challenging parts about removing carp from our lakes is waiting for them to group together in parts of the lake that are suitable for netting and removal. Some areas of the lake are too steep, have too many rocks, or have too much vegetation – all of these preventing a successful removal of carp.
In order to make removals more effective, the PLSLWD is attempting to train carp to group in desired removal locations by using an underwater speaker and corn bait. Carp are able to hear even the smallest of sounds from large distances, made possible by their unique ‘Weberian bone structure’. The District is going to pair a specific, unique noise with carp’s favorite treat, corn bait, as positive reinforcement.
This project is based on several studies that suggest carp are able to be trained using noise and bait (Willis et. al. 2002, Zion et. al. 2007, Zion et. al. 2011) with relatively short learning curves. In addition, a study by Sloan et. al. in 2013 indicates that carp can retain this trained behavior without reinforcement for at least five months.
We will not be doing carp training with volunteers in 2021, but hope to bring the program back in 2022.
Do you have a dock on Upper Prior Lake? Let the end of your dock be one of the bait sites and observe the carp training protocols first-hand. We need volunteers that are willing to commit to a 48-hour period (two nights, three days) during the week or a three-day weekend (Friday afternoon – Monday morning).
WHAT TO EXPECT
Once you sign your dock up for the study, staff will visit to install the training box which will include underwater speakers and a corn bait bag set up at the end of your dock. These will be left overnight on your dock for two to three nights. During this time, we will need your help keeping an eye on the speaker to make sure it continues to play and to let us know if the corn bait bag gets low. Ideally this would be done two times in the evening and once or twice in the morning, but the more you check on it, the better! Volunteers will be asked to enter an online Google form after each time they check on the training box. After the last night, staff will be back at the dock to retrieve the training materials.
Late June – early September
Contact Shauna Capron at 952-440-0101 or email@example.com.
READY TO VOLUNTEER?