Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Arizona
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Arizona Project

An Integrated Approach to Using YY Technology and Mechanical Control Methods for Invasive Fish Control

August 2017 - August 2022


Participating Agencies

  • Bureau of Reclamation
Arizona Unit student conducting research in genetic techniques to help control nuisance fish reproduction.

Nonnative fishes have substantial impacts on native fishes through competition and predation. Targeted removal of the most harmful nuisance species has always been elusive. However, advancing technology shows promise in manipulating the sex of fishes using hormones to produce all-male progeny with a YY chromosome complement (i.e., supermales) that will spawn with existing nuisance fishes and over time, reduce, and even eliminate their populations. While supermales have been developed for several different species, efforts to develop supermales of some of the most damaging invasive fishes in the southwestern United States have not been established. We are examining feasibility of producing supermales (Trojan sex carriers – YY) of a common, short-lived invasive nonnative species to the southwestern United States, the Red Shiner Cyprinella lutrensis. Further, we are examining feasibility initial steps of production of supermales of a common long-lived invasive nonnative species to the southwestern United States, such as Channel Catfish Ictalurus punctatus or Green Sunfish Lepomis cyanellus, to be selected in collaboration with sponsors. We will also model the feasibility of integrated control of red shiner, channel catfish and green sunfish and other nonnative species as time permits using both mechanical removal to reduce the population first and then stocking different rates of supermales to the population. A dissertation and publications will results from this project. A Ph.D. student started on this project January, 2018.