Asian Carp

Aquatic Invasive Species

Bighead Carp

Hypophthalmichthys nobilis

Silver Carp

Hypophthalmichthys molitrix

  • Two species of Asian carp — silver and bighead — were originally imported to
    control algae in southern catfish farms. Following flooding, they escaped
    into the Mississippi River in the early 1990s. They now inhabit the Illinois
    River, which connects to the Great Lakes via the Chicago Sanitary and Ship
    Canal.
  • Silver and bighead carp consume vast amounts of food and are extremely
    prolific. They can weigh up to 100 pounds and grow more than four feet long.
    Silver carp can jump from the water when agitated and have been known to
    injure boaters.
  • These species pose a significant threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem due to
    their large size, voracious eating habits, and rate of reproduction. Natural
    resource managers fear they would upset the food web, decimate native
    species, and damage the Great Lakes sport fishery.

See: Details and Overview

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