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You are here: Home / Aquatic Species / Species Profiles / Asian Carp
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Asian Carp

Grass carpSpecies: Bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus), grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), and silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) (ITIS)


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Selected Resources

Native To: Eurasia (NAS Database)

Date of U.S. Introduction:

  • Bighead carp in 1972;
  • Black carp in early 1970s;
  • Grass carp in 1963;
  • Silver carp in 1973 (NAS Database)

Means of Introduction: Black carp was a "contaminant" in imported grass carp stocks; other three species were imported for aquaculture and for phytoplankton control (NAS Database).


  • Bighead carp: impacts not adequately known, but may "lead to reductions in populations of native species that rely on plankton for food, including all larval fishes, some adult fishes, and native mussels";
  • Black carp: presumed to "negatively impact native aquatic communities by feeding on, and reducing, populations of native mussels and snails, many of which are considered endangered or threatened";
  • Grass carp: direct and indirect impacts via: competition for food; significant changes in the composition of macrophyte, phytoplankton, and invertebrate communities; interference with the reproduction of other fishes; decreases in refugia for other fishes; modification of preferred habitat; predation or competition when plant food is scarce. Has significantly altered the food web and trophic structure of aquatic systems by inducing changes in plant, invertebrate, and fish communities;
  • Silver carp: has the potential to cause enormous damage to native species because it feeds on plankton required by larval fish and native mussels. Is a potential competitor with adults of some native fishes, for instance, gizzard shad, that also rely on plankton for food (NAS Database).

Current U.S. Distribution:

  • Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database: Point Maps
    DOI. USGS. Southeast Ecological Science Center.
    Provides detailed collection information as well as animated map.

Federally Regulated:

  • Injurious Wildlife
    DOI. FWS. Fish and Aquatic Conservation.
    Includes species listed as injurious wildlife under the Federal Lacey Act, which makes it illegal in the U.S. to import, export, or transport between States without a permit.



Selected Resources:


Asian Carp Management

Asian Carp Control
Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee.

Texas Invasives Database - Ctenopharyngodon idella
See also: Hypophthalmichthys nobilis

Invasive Species Compendium - Mylopharyngodon piceus
CAB International.
See also: Ctenopharyngodon idella, Aristichthys nobilis, and Hypophthalmichthys molitrix

Asian Carps
Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program (Canada).

Global Invasive Species Database - Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (fish)
World Conservation Union. Invasive Species Specialist Group.
See also: Bighead carp and grass carp


Black Carp (PDF | 449 KB)
DOI. FWS. Invasive Species Program.

Asian Carp
DOI. FWS. Midwest Region.

Injurious Wildlife
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Provides species evaluations for listing Asian carps as Injurious Wildlife under the Lacey Act; provides information for Black carp, Silver and Largescale silver carp, and Bighead carp

Asian Carp Overview
DOI. NPS. Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.

Facts about Invasive Bighead and Silver Carp (May 2010)
DOI. USGS. Columbia Environmental Research Center.

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database - Hypophthalmichthys nobilis (Bighead Carp)
DOI. USGS. Southeast Ecological Science Center.
Provides distribution maps and collection information (State and County).
See also: black carp, grass carp, and silver carp

Asian Carp - Fact Sheet
Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat.


Asian Carp in Alabama
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Aquatic Invasive Species - Silver Carp (PDF | 130 KB)
Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
See also: bighead carp (PDF | 234 KB), black carp (PDF | 216 KB), and grass carp (PDF | 150 KB)

Asian Carp Information
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Asian Carp
Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Invasive aquatic animals: Bighead and silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis & H. molitrix)
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
See also: grass carp

Asian Carp Control
Missouri Department of Conservation.

Asian Carp
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Pest Risk Assessment for Asian Carps in Oregon (Dec 2009; PDF | 90 KB)
Oregon Invasive Species Council.

Freshwater Aquatic Invasive Species in Rhode Island - Asian Carp (Sep 2010; PDF | 553 KB)
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. Office of Water Resources.

Asian Carp Control Efforts
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.


New York Invasive Species Information - Asian Carp
New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse.

Aquatic Invader Toolkit - Silver Carp (PDF | 414 KB)
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant.

Asian Carp
University of Michigan. Michigan Sea Grant.

Asian Carp: Threats to the Lower Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River (PDF | 360 KB)
New York Sea Grant.

Asian Carps - Aquatic Invasions! A Menace to the West Species Guide (PDF | 388 KB)
Oregon State University. Oregon Sea Grant.

Fact Sheet: Asian Carp (PDF | 333 KB)
Pennsylvania State University. Pennsylvania Sea Grant.


Exotic Species - Asian Carp
Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Fisheries Management.

Stop Carp Coalition
Stop Carp Coalition.

Asian Carp
Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council (Michigan).


Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Ctenopharyngodon idella. [Accessed Mar 5, 2015].

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Hypophthalmichthys molitrix. [Accessed Mar 5, 2015].

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Hypophthalmichthys nobilis. [Accessed Mar 5, 2015].

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Mylopharyngodon piceus. [Accessed Mar 5, 2015].

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Ctenopharyngodon idella (grass carp). USGS, Gainesville, FL. [Accessed Sep 16, 2014].

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (silver carp). USGS, Gainesville, FL. [Accessed Sep 16, 2014].

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Hypophthalmichthys nobilis (bighead carp). USGS, Gainesville, FL. [Accessed Sep 16, 2014].

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Mylopharyngodon piceus (black carp). USGS, Gainesville, FL. [Accessed Sep 16, 2014].

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Last Modified: Jan 17, 2016
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