The lsraeli Joumal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh 51(2), 1999, 74-83
THE BLACK CARP, A POTENTIAL BIOCONTROL OF MOLLUSKS
S. Rothbard and I. Rubinshtein
YAFIT (R&D) Laboratory, Fish Breeding Center, Gan Shmuel 38810, Israel
(Received 27.4.99, Accepted 15.6.99)
The black carp, Mylopharyngodon piceus, is a mollusk-eating large cyprinid which belongs to the group of the so called Chinese carps. The fish has protracted puberty and it matures at the age of
7-9 years in the subtropics. Black carp stocked in the Israeli National Water Carrier reservoirs have successfully controlled snail populations. Ploidy manipulated sterile black carp prevent uncontrolled reproduction of this species in nature and ecological contamination of water systems. A model is presented which considers predator/prey relationships as expressed by annual energy balance of the predator black carp and the extraordinary reproductive potential of the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha. The equations (a) Q = 0.343W0.85 and (b) 0.8R =T+P, proposed in literature for common carp, were used to calculate the energy balance for the black carp (where W= fish body mass; Q = demand of O2 in ml/hour; T = daily metabolic oxygen demand; R = feeding ration; P = production of fish body mass). The potential zebra mussel feeding rates of fish were calculated using energy equivalents of mollusks, fish and oxygen.