Investigating Grass Carp movement, emigration, habitat use, and natural mortality after stocking at Lake Apopka
September 2021 - June 2023
Managing invasive plants such as hydrilla is a pressing issue for fisheries and aquatic resource managers in Florida. While herbicide treatment is a common approach for controlling hydrilla, it is often controversial. Human dimensions research indicates stakeholder support for alternative control techniques (e.g., Grass Carp stocking) to reduce the number of chemical treatments necessary to control hydrilla in certain areas of Florida. We will use radio telemetry to assess stocking mortality, natural mortality, movement, emigration, and habitat use of Grass Carp in Lake Apopka. We will use this information to develop a Grass Carp population model and identify strategies for balancing biological and chemical approaches for hydrilla control. This project will be a cooperative endeavor among FWC Freshwater Fisheries Research, FWC Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management, FWC Invasive Plant Management, and the Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Florida.