Carp are a family of fish native to Europe and Asia. The common carp Cyprinus carpio has been in the US for over years. The newest carp invaders, bighead carp , black carp , grass carp , and silver carp collectively known as "Asian carp" , however, are causing their own brand of trouble in the Mississippi River and rivers and lakes within the Mississippi rivershed. These four species of fish were introduced to the U. These captive fish eventually escaped into the Mississippi River basin and established breeding populations.
Kentucky wildlife officials trying new Asian carp control
Silver Carp | National Invasive Species Information Center | USDA
Common Carp, Cyprinus carpio , while originally from Asia, arrived in North America much earlier and is not one of those species referred to as Asian carps. Click here for more information. All are members of the cyprinid family, which includes carps and several varieties of minnows. Of the Bighead Carp, only three specimens have been collected, all in western Lake Erie, between and , and are believed to have been intentionally released. Of the Grass Carp specimens, there have been approximately 23 single captures since in the waters or tributaries of Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie the most recent in Lake Erie in It is likely that the fish caught were escapees from areas where populations were being used for aquatic plant control, or live releases.
Since the s invasive Asian carp have steadily migrated north into the U. Midwest, infesting the watersheds of the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois rivers. The voracious bottom-feeders can strip entire river ecosystems of zooplankton, the basic food of native fish species— and now they seem poised to breach the Great Lakes ecosystem. That sobering find in the Des Plaines River has engineers and scientists scrambling for a way to halt these slippery aliens. An adult Asian carp can weigh 45 kilograms and eat the equivalent of 5 to 20 percent of its body weight every day.
Skip to Main Content. Federal government websites always use a. See Asian Carp Newsroom for updated news regarding Asian carp response in the midwest. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.