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

Asian Carp

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

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New Bills to Confont Asian Carp Threat Introduced in Congress (Apr 19, 2012)
Great Lakes Coalition. Healing Our Waters.
Congress introduced new bills aimed at combating the spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. The legislation directs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete within 18 months its study on how to separate the Great Lakes and Mississippi watersheds to block the advance of the non-native Asian carp. The voracious fish are within miles of Lake Michigan. Scientists fear that an Asian carp invasion into the Great Lakes could devastate the region's $7 billion sport and commercial fishery. The legislation updates the Stop Asian Carp Act of 2011, which was introduced last year. For more information on the bills introduced, see Congressional Bills - 112th Congress.

What to Do If You Think You Have Found an Asian Carp (2010; PDF | 584 KB)
Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committe.

Bighead Carp Added to Federal List of Injurious Wildlife (Mar 21, 2011)
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a final rule in the Mar 22 Federal Register officially adding the bighead carp to the federal injurious wildlife list. The final rule codifies the Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act (S. 1421), signed into law by President Obama on Dec 14, 2010. The injurious wildlife listing means that under the Lacey Act it is illegal to import or to transport live bighead carp, including viable eggs or hybrids of the species, across state lines, except by permit for zoological, education, medical, or scientific purposes.


Native To
: Eurasia (NAS Database 2011)

Date of U.S. Introduction:

  • Bighead carp in 1972;
  • Black carp in early 1970s;
  • Grass carp in 1963;
  • Silver carp in 1973 (NAS Database 2011)

Images:

Videos: Asian Carp Invasion Part I (or click Play button below) and Google Videos

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 2011).

Impact:

  • 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 2011).

Current U.S. Distribution:

Federally Regulated: 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 (DOI, Fish and Wildlife Service)

Management Plans: Aquatic Species / Asian Carp

Selected Internet Resources:

Federal Government

Asian Carp Article Citation Search - AGRICOLA Database
USDA. National Agricultural Library.
Research; Special Note: NAL Catalog Search (resources)

Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Portal
DOD. USACE. Chicago District.
Impacts; Controls

Black Carp - Mylopharyngodon piceus - Aquatic Nuisance Species Research Program (PDF | 514 KB)
DOD. USACE. Engineer Research and Development Center. Environmental Laboratory.
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Photographs; Impacts; Life Cycle; Distribution; Controls; Special Note: References

Black Carp (PDF | 449 KB)
DOI. FWS. Invasive Species Program.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts

Asian Carp
DOI. FWS. Midwest Region.
Photographs; Controls

Environmental Assessments for Listing Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) (Apr 2007; PDF | 146 KB) and Black Carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus) (May 2007; PDF | 294 KB) as Injurious Wildlife under the Lacey Act
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Introduction History; Impacts; Distribution; Controls

Asian Carp Overview
DOI. NPS. Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.
Photographs; Impacts; Controls

Invasive Asian Carp Research Program
DOI. USGS. Columbia Environmental Research Center.
Photographs; Impacts; Special Note: Facts about Invasive Bighead and Silver Carp (May 2010)

Hypophthalmichthys nobilis (Bighead Carp) - Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database
DOI. USGS. Southeast Ecological Science Center.
Identification/Description; Illustrations; Introduction History; Impacts; Habitat; Distribution; Special Note: Special Notes: Distribution maps and collection information (State and County), see also black carp, grass carp, and silver carp

Asian Carp
DOI. USGS. Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Distribution

Asian Carp and the Great Lakes
EPA. Great Lakes National Program Office.
Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Controls

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State Government

Asian Carp in Alabama
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Illustrations; Introduction History; Impacts

Aquatic Invasive Species - Silver Carp (PDF | 130 KB)
Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Life Cycle; Distribution; Controls; Special Note: See also bighead carp (PDF | 234 KB), black carp (PDF | 216 KB), and grass carp (PDF | 150 KB)

Asian Carp - 3 Species
Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Impacts

Invasive aquatic animals: Bighead and silver carp
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Distribution; Dispersion; Legal Aspects

Asian Carp Control
Missouri Department of Conservation.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Impacts; Dispersion; Legal Aspects

Asian Carp
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Controls

Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Identification/Description; Illustrations; Impacts; Life Cycle; Distribution

Asian Carp Control Efforts
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Controls

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University/Academic

Aquatic Invaders: Silver Carp - Aquatic Invader Toolkit (PDF | 414 KB)
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant.
Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Life Cycle; Habitat; Distribution; Dispersion; Controls

Bighead Carp Fact Sheet (PDF | 82 KB)
MIT Sea Grant. Center for Coastal Resources.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Habitat; Distribution

Asian Carp Overview
University of Michigan. Michigan Sea Grant.
Identification/Description; Illustrations; Introduction History; Impacts; Controls

Bighead Carp - Oklahoma Invasive Species
Oklahoma State University.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Distribution; Controls; Special Note: See also grass carp and silver carp

Asian Carps - Aquatic Invasions! A Menace to the West Species Guide (PDF | 388 KB)
Oregon State University. Oregon Sea Grant.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Illustrations; Introduction History; Impacts; Life Cycle; Habitat; Distribution; Dispersion; Controls

Asian Carp (PDF | 333 KB)
Pennsylvania Sea Grant.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Habitat; Distribution; Controls

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International

Species Summaries: Bighead Carp and Blackhead Carp and Grass Carp and Silver Carp
FishBase.org.
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Illustration; Life Cycle; Habitat; Distribution; Dispersion

Asian Carp Status Report (Mar 2005; PDF | 204 KB)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat.
Photographs; Impacts; Life Cycle; Controls

Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (fish) - ISSG Global Invasive Species Database
World Conservation Union. Invasive Species Specialist Group.
Identification/Description; Impacts; Habitat; Distribution; Dispersion; Controls; Special Note: See also Bighead carp and grass carp

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Organizations

Asian Carp Control
Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee.
Photographs; Illustrations; Introduction History; Impacts; Controls

Exotic Species - Asian Carp
Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Fisheries Management.
Photographs; Introduction History

Invader of the Month - Grass Carp (Mar 2009)
Maryland Invasive Species Council.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Controls

Asian Carp (PDF | 57 KB)
Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Distribution; Special Note: See also Asian Carp Key to Identification (PDF | 113 KB)

Asian Carp
Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council (Michigan).
Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Controls

Citations

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. 2011. Ctenopharyngodon idella (grass carp). USGS, Gainesville, FL.

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. 2011. Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (silver carp). USGS, Gainesville, FL.

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. 2011. Hypophthalmichthys nobilis (bighead carp). USGS, Gainesville, FL.

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. 2011. Mylopharyngodon piceus (black carp). USGS, Gainesville, FL.

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Last Modified: Feb 08, 2014
 
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