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Silver Carp

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Silver carp, adult
Silver carp, adult - Photo by Lindsey Lewis; U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Scientific Name: 

Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (Valenciennes in Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1844) (ITIS)

Common Name: 

Silver carp

Native To: 

Eastern Asia (NAS Database)

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

Imported for aquaculture and for phytoplankton control (NAS Database)

Impact: 

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)

Spotlights

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) received a report in late June that an invasive silver carp had been spotted in Choctaw Creek, a Texas tributary of the Red River approximately 15 miles downstream from Lake Texoma. "These are the first reports of silver carp from Texas waters, although they have previously been found in other areas of the Red River including just downstream from Lake Texoma in Oklahoma waters in 2019," said Dan Bennett, TPWD fisheries management biologist. "Invasive carp pose a significant risk to Lake Texoma’s ecosystem and boaters and there is adequate flow and upstream river area for them to become established and reproduce in the lake if introduced."

Anyone who catches either silver or bighead carp in Texas waters is asked to report the sighting with location information and photos to AquaticInvasives@tpwd.texas.gov. Silver and bighead carp are prohibited exotic species in Texas and must be killed upon possession by beheading, gutting, gill-cutting or other means or placed on ice. Neither species can be possessed live.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The governors of Illinois and Michigan today agreed to work jointly to protect the Great Lakes from invasive Asian carp species. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Gov. JB Pritzker today announced an intergovernmental agreement between the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) which allows Illinois to use up to $8 million in funds appropriated in 2018 by the Michigan Legislature to support the pre-construction engineering and design (PED) phase of the Brandon Road Ecosystem Project. Further strengthening the path forward, the State of Illinois also signed a separate PED agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the initial Brandon Road design. The state will serve as the non-federal sponsor, agreeing to help fund design of a portion of the project and to further advance full project design efforts to approximately 30 percent completion.

The Brandon Road Lock and Dam in the Chicago Area Waterway System near Joliet, Illinois, is a critical pinch point for keeping bighead, silver and black carp – the invasive Asian carp species of greatest concern – out of the Great Lakes. The Brandon Road project would install layered technologies including an electric barrier, underwater sound, an air bubble curtain and a flushing lock in a newly engineered channel designed to prevent invasive carp movement while allowing barge passage.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is taking further action following the capture of 34 silver carp in Pool 8 of the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wis. during a recent Modified Unified Method operation. The USGS-developed Modified Unified Method combines netting and herding techniques to drive and concentrate invasive carp from a large area of water into a small zone for removal.

Invasive carp captures must be reported to the DNR immediately by calling 651-587-2781 or emailing invasivecarp.dnr@state.mn.us. Take a photo and transport the carp to the nearest DNR fisheries office or make arrangements for it to be picked up by a DNR official. Do not release captured invasive carp.

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.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.

Provides detailed collection information as well as animated map.

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

Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee; Flickr.

University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Videos

Invasive Carp Regional Coordinating Committee.

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 Silver 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
World Conservation Union. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program (Canada).

Invasive Carp Regional Coordinating Committee.

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. Southeast Region.

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

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.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Missouri Department of Conservation.

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife 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
Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Fisheries Management.

Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council (Michigan).

Citations