Thursday, February 21, 2013

Interim Report Asian Carp Environmental DNA Calibration Study

Feb 20: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), released an interim report for the Asian Carp Environmental DNA Calibration Study (ECALS), which is a three-year study funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, as scoped by the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework. The agencies will host a stakeholder conference call February 26 at 10 AM (Central) to answer questions regarding the report.

    USACE Environmental DNA (eDNA) Program Manager Kelly Baerwaldt said, "The purpose of ECALS is to improve the understanding and interpretation of Asian carp environmental DNA results, so we can refine and make this relatively young monitoring tool the most effective to detect live Asian carp presence." Initial ECALS efforts within the report focus on identifying alternative sources of eDNA beyond a live Asian carp, whereas marker development to aid in detecting the specific species and calibration experiments that look at factors that may influence the detection, degradation or persistence of DNA will receive greater attention in 2013.

    Among preliminary findings: Storm sewers, fisheries sampling gear, fish-eating birds, dead fish carcasses, barges, and sediments may contribute to a positive eDNA detection without a live fish being present; DNA can stay on these sources for a numbers of days; Tagged-bird studies show large variations in bird movement and consumption of Asian carp in the wild, which may lead to positive detection of Asian carp eDNA in bird feces; Shedding rates of DNA from Asian carp were not affected by different temperatures or flow rates of water; and DNA from Asian carp sperm can be detected for over two weeks after release from an Asian carp.

    Access a release from USACE with more details on the conference call and related information (click here). Access a separate release from the ACRCC with links to an Executive Summary; eDNA Fact Sheet; ECALS Fact Sheet; and the ECALS Report (click here). [#GLakes/AsianCarp]

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