Bypassing a government shutdown
The U.S. government shutdown, – now in its 7th day – believe it or not, has caused a hiccup in researching capabilities. As the majority of reliable information on Asian Carp is housed on government websites, some of which have been deactivated, forming a timeline on Asian Carp movements was looking like a dead end until the government solved its issues. For example, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the United States Geological Survey websites have all been redirected to the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Rather than trowing in the towel, though, like the US government seems to have done, I fine-tuned my research to be a bit more visual. Looking for videos geared toward Asian Carp migration patterns I came across mini documentaries from Animal Planet, North American Fishing and even MSNBCs The Rachel Maddow Show. Then, I found a short video on a new study developed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in conjunction with U.S. Geological Survey. The Fluvial Egg Drift Simulator, built to simulate the transport and dispersion of Asian Carp eggs, was released online in June of 2013.
Tatiana Garcia, a graduate student at Illinois, and civil and environmental engineering professor Marcelo Garcia, released the study, which was published in the Ecological Modeling journal. To measure the viability of their study the FluEgg was put to the test in the Sandusky river, a tributary to Lake Erie where Asian Carp eDNA has recently been found. Their research found that the eggs are more likely to survive and hatch when suspended in water and not sedentary, so the team tracked both the buoyancy of eggs in turbulent waters as well as stages of growth. The study may hold a potential answer to a breakthrough on maintaining the spread of Asian Carp at an early stage.