Date of Award


Degree Name

Biological Sciences


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Jones, Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Anne Axel

Third Advisor

Dr. Mindy Armstead


Bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) and silver carp (H. molitrix), collectively referred to as Asian carps, are invasive species that may negatively affect native species through plankton resource exploitation mechanisms. Bighead and silver carp escaped into the Mississippi River basin in the early 1970s and have been steadily migrating upstream. The Greenup Pool lies upstream of the current known invasion of Asian carp in the Ohio River. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) has conducted probabilistic electrofishing community surveys in the Greenup Pool since 2006 on a five-year cycle. The objective of this study was to compare body condition of commonly collected fishes between ORSANCO survey years using relative weight and Fulton’s condition factor. Channel catfish decreased in mean relative weight between 2011 and 2016, and sauger increased in mean relative weight between 2006-2011 and 2006-2016. The second objective of this study was to explore potential trends in fish community distribution in the Greenup Pool using nonmetric multidimensional scaling. The fish community appeared to show dissimilarity between the lower Greenup Pool and the middle and upper pools. This study will serve as a baseline for the Greenup Pool preceding the invasion of bigheaded carps for future studies and comparisons.


Bighead carp – Ohio River.

Silver carp – Ohio River.

Ohio River Watershed.