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Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

Use of antimycin-microparticles and corn feed to control Common Carp Cyprinus carpio

Supervisor - Jon Amberg
Principal Investigator
– Blake Sauey


Attempts to control carp, Cyprinus carpio, populations in Minnesota (and elsewhere) date back to early 1900s (Moyle et al. 1950, Moyle and Kuehn 1964). Early efforts focused on removing large numbers of adult carp, often by targeting their winter aggregations using seine nets. Such was the strategy in Minnesota in 1930s and 40s, where carp were systematically removed with nets in dozens of lakes for nearly two decades (Moyle et al. 1950). However, this effort, and similar efforts conducted in other parts of the country, brought no significant reductions in carp biomass (Moyle et al. 1950). In later decades, many carp populations have been attempted to be controlled by using rotenone, a non-specific fish toxin that was pumped into lakes to achieve a complete fish kill (Marking 1992). The success of this strategy was also relatively low, as only lakes that could be cleared of carp entirely and blocked with barriers to prevent carp re-infestation were successful (example: Clear Lake in Illinois). The use of rotenone has declined due to its high cost, low specificity, inability to incorporate into carp baits (carp sense and avoid it), and short-lasting effects. Unsuccessful attempts to control carp with seine nets or rotenone showed that relatively simple approaches that focus on removing adult carp are unlikely to succeed unless processes that regulate the survival of the young are also addressed. It has become evident in recent years that a much better understanding of carp’s life history is needed to develop integrated pest management strategies that employ a collection of management tools to target specific weaknesses in carp’s development. Selective carp baits could be developed relatively easily because of this species’ unique diet that incorporate plant seeds (Crivelli 1983). For example, common carp can be conditioned to aggregate in selected areas of lakes to selectively consume corn (Bajer et al. 2010). This would create opportunities for developing carp-specific antimycin delivery systems. Because all post-larval stages of carp share similar diet, different size pellets could be used to target different life stages of carp. We propose a pilot study to test species-specificity of antimycin delivery systems to common carp using corn as a carrier. We will be following procedures from Rach et al. (1994), except we will be using corn meal instead of fish feed, in the bait formulation, to increase species specificity. We will also be using a beeswax microparticle to contain the antimycin-A, which will minimize the leaching of antimycin-A into the water and also increase species specificity.


  1. Determine toxicity range of antimycin-A micro-particle laden bait to common carp in tanks;
  2. Demonstrate toxicity of antimycin-A micro-particle laden bait to common carp in tanks;
  3. Determination of species specificity of bait;
  4. Determine the leach rate of antimycin-A from the bait, and also determine if the leach rate is sufficient to cause mortality;
  5. Demonstrate toxicity of antimycin-A micro-particle laden bait to common carp in a small pond.


Bajer, P. G., H. Lim, M. J. Travaline, B. D. Miller, and P. W. Sorensen. 2010. Cognitive aspects of food searching behavior in free-ranging wild Common Carp. Environmental Biology of Fishes 88:295-300.

Bernardy J.A., Hubert T.D., Ogorek J.M. & Schmidt L.J. (2013) Determination of Antimycin-A in Water by Liquid Chromatographic/Mass Spectrometry: Single-Laboratory Validation. Journal of Aoac International, 96, 413-421.

B. Bolker. 2008. Ecological Models and Data Analysis. Princeton University, Princeton.

Crivelli, A. J. 1983. The destruction of aquatic vegetation by carp. Hydrobiologia 106:37-41.

Marking, L. L. 1992. Evaluation of Toxicants for the Control of Carp and Other Nuisance Fishes. Fisheries 17:6-12.

Moyle, J. B. and J. H. Kuehn. 1964. Carp, a sometimes villain. eds.) Waterfowl Tomorrow. Fish Wildl. Ser. US:635-642

Moyle, J. B., J. H. Kuehn, and C. R. Burrows. 1950. Fish-population and catch data from Minnesota Lakes. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 78:163-175.

Piper, R. G., McElwain, I. B., Orme, L. E., McCraren, J. P., Fowler, L. G., & Leonard, J. R. (1982). Fish hatchery management.

Rach, J. J., J. A. Luoma, and L. L. Marking. 1994. Development of an antimycin-impregnated bait for controlling common carp. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 14:442-446.

W. W. Piegorsch and A. J. Bailer. 1997. Statistics for Environmental Biology and Toxicology. Chapman and Hall, London.


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