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Bighead Carp

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Bighead carp, adult
Bighead carp, adult - Photo by U.S. Geological Survey
Scientific Name: 

Hypophthalmichthys nobilis (Richardson, 1845) (ITIS)

Common Name: 

Bighead carp

Native To: 

China (NAS Database)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 
Means of Introduction: 

Imported for aquaculture and for phytoplankton control (NAS Database)

Impact: 

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" (NAS Database)

Spotlights

  • DOC. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    New research by NOAA and partners finds that two species of invasive Asian carp -- the bighead carp and silver carp, collectively known as bigheaded carps -- could be capable of establishing populations in Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron and affecting the health of ecologically and economically important fish species such as yellow perch. The research, appearing online in the journal Biological Invasions, is based on a new model that simulates interactions between the bigheaded carps and a range of fish species, including walleye, yellow perch, and groups lower on the food web over a time period of 50 years. Over 180 non-indigenous aquatic species have already become established in the Great Lakes, with a handful of these producing substantial negative impacts. While bigheaded carps are established in watersheds near the Great Lakes, they have not yet become established in the Great Lakes.

  • Ohio State University. Ohio Sea Grant College Program.

    The Great Lakes Sea Grant Network has released a comprehensive and coordinated outreach and education report on Asian carp in the region. The document includes information on carp life history, movement and behavior, monitoring, control, ecosystem impacts and gaps in current knowledge that need to be addressed further. The plan’s development was funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee. The final report can be downloaded here (PDF | 5.6 MB).

  • 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.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

Federally Regulated

  • DOI. FWS. Fish and Aquatic Conservation.

    Includes species listed as injurious wildlife under the Federal Lacey Act (18 USC 42), which makes it illegal to import injurious wildlife into the United States or transport between the listed jurisdictions in the shipment clause (the continental United States, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any possession of the United States) without a permit. An injurious wildlife listing would not prohibit intrastate transport or possession of that species within a State where those activities are not prohibited by the State.

    Injurious wildlife are wild mammals, wild birds, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, crustaceans, mollusks and their offspring or eggs that are injurious to the interests of human beings, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, wildlife or wildlife resources of the U.S. Plants and organisms other than those stated above cannot be listed as injurious wildlife.
    See also: Injurious Wildlife: A Summary of the Injurious Provisions of the Lacey Act (Dec 2017; PDF | 401 KB)

Images

Videos

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Bighead Carp.

Council or Task Force
Alberta Invasive Species Council (Canada).
See also: Fact Sheets for more information about individual invasive species, including those listed as "Prohibited Noxious" and "Noxious" under the Alberta Weed Control Act

Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Washington Invasive Species Council.

Partnership
Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee.
World Conservation Union. Invasive Species Specialist Group.
Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program (Canada).

New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Estuary Program; Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).

Federal Government
DOI. USGS. Columbia Environmental Research Center.
DOI. FWS. Midwest Region.
DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
Provides distribution maps and collection information (State and County).
International Government
State and Local Government

Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

See also: Invasive Species for exotic animal and plant pests invading Indiana, causing economic and visual damage
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. Office of Water Resources.
See also: Aquatic Invasive Animals for species of concern
Oregon State Library. Oregon Documents Repository.
Prepared by: Portland State University, Center for Lakes and Reservoirs

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Missouri Department of Conservation.
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Academic
University of Minnesota. Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center.
Pennsylvania State University. Pennsylvania Sea Grant.
See also: Aquatic Invasive Species: Resources for additional species information
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant.
Professional
Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council (Michigan).
Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Fisheries Management.

Citations