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Underwater Acoustic Deterrent System at Lock 19

U.S Army Engineer Research and Development Center
Published May 24, 2021
ERDC researcher uses sound to sustainably deter invasive Asian carp in USGS project

The U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center's Environmental Laboratory and partners use a 350-ton crane to install the underwater Acoustic Deterrent System weldment at Lock and Dam 19 on the Mississippi River in Keokuk, Iowa, Feb. 3, 2021. The weldment runs perpendicular to the lock's approach channel walls and is part of a study to understand how invasive carp respond to acoustic signals. If the deterrent is effective at controlling upstream movement of invasive carp with limited effects on native species, this or similar technology could be deployed at other critical locations to help prevent the spread of the invasive fish.

ERDC researcher uses sound to sustainably deter invasive Asian carp in USGS project

A 350-ton crane swings the underwater Acoustic Deterrent System weldment, which includes speakers for emitting sounds specific to the hearing range of invasive carp, into place at Lock and Dam 19 on the Mississippi River Feb. 3, 2021. The weldment was installed in the lock approach, and U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center's Environmental Laboratory and partners will collect data for the next three years to evaluate its effectiveness in deterring invasive carp from the area.

This is a full-scale study of the underwater Acoustic Deterrent System (uADS) as a means of preventing invasive carp from moving further upstream the Mississippi River. The uADS has been installed in the lock approach channel of Lock and Dam 19 (LD19), located on the border of Keokuk, Iowa, and Hamilton, Illinois. U.S. Geological Survey's Dr. Marybeth Brey is leading the study, with ERDC-EL's Dr. Christa Woodley leading the acoustics portion -- including deployment of the speakers and execution and monitoring of underwater sound.

Invasive carp can use rivers to expand their range, jeopardizing native fish species and recreational uses of these waterbodies. Fish mitigation techniques have a long history in the U.S. -- from structural barriers, such as concrete, to non-structural deterrents, such as electricity. The goal of this study is to develop acoustic playbacks that alter behavior of these invasive carp in a predictable manner while limiting impacts to native fish.

This location was chosen because

  • fish cannot pass upstream over the dam, only through the lock;
  • there are a lower number of carp above LD19; and
  • there is a moderate population of Asian carp below LD19 and documented upstream passage of both the carp and native species.

The primary objectives of the study are to

  • test, under field conditions, the potential for acoustic signals to deter invasive carp and native fish from moving upstream and
  • understand and assess the engineering, maintenance and logistical considerations associated with long-term operations of a uADS in an active navigation channel.

The biographies of the two researchers can be found here:

Dr. Christa Woodley: https://www.erdc.usace.army.mil/About/Leadership/Bio-Article-View/Article/2626300/christa-m-woodley-phd/  

Dr. Marybeth Brey: https://www.usgs.gov/staff-profiles/marybeth-brey?qt-staff_profile_science_products=0#qt-staff_profile_science_products

The two researchers are available for interviews. Other perspectives on the project can be obtained from the following panelists:

Kevin Irons-Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Kim Bogenschutz-Iowa Department of Natural Resources; Teresa Lewis-U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Mark Cornish and Kirk Sunderman-USACE Rock Island District

 

Irons and Bogenschutz can offer the states' Department of Natural Resources perspectives; Lewis can provide comments from USFWS; Sunderman can offer insights on the design process of the weldment and its fit within the lock. Cornish can speak to the GLRI-USACE relationship and stakeholders.

 


Contact
Marybeth Brey, Ph.D.
mbrey@usgs.gov
or
Christa Woodley, Ph.D.
Christa.M.Woodley@usace.army.mil