Validating the age of carp from the northern Murray-Darling Basin

Being able to accurately age carp is important for modelling population dynamics and potential response to various control strategies. This study examined the use of oxytetracycline (OTC) and otolith (ear bone) sampling to determine the formation of bone growth rings and in turn estimate the age of carp populations in the northern Murray–Darling Basin (MDB).

OTC leaves a mark in bony tissue that can be used as a reference point to analyse the formation of subsequent growth rings, known as ‘check marks’. The number of check marks that appear over a known time period can then be used to determine the age of the fish. In carp populations in the southern MDB, check marks are known to form annually. However, whether this occurs in the subtropical environment of the northern MDB had not been examined before this project. Validating this ageing method will enable population modelling to be applied to the whole MDB and assist in carp management.

Secondary title PestSmart toolkit - carp
Author Hutchison M, McLennan M, Chilcott K, Norris A and Stewart D
Year 2012
Place published Canberra
Publisher Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre
Institution Invasive Animals CRC
Department Freshwater Products and Strategies
Pages 24 pp
ISBN/ISSN Web ISBN: 978-1-921777-48-6
Region Australia - national
Documents Validating the age of carp from the northern Murray-Darling Basin [1 Mb PDF]