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Also: Lake St. Clair
  Asian Carp
in the Great Lakes Region

What's New | Overview | Distribution Maps | Studies/Management Plans | Federal Resources | State/Provincial Resources
Current invaders:
Crustaceans: Rusty Crayfish | Spiny Water Flea
Fish: Goby (Round) | Goby (Tubenose) | Rudd | Ruffe | Sea Lamprey | White Perch
Mollusks: Quagga Mussel | Zebra Mussel
Plants: Curly-leaf Pondweed | Eurasian Watermilfoil | Phragmites (non-native) | Purple Loosestrife
Viruses: Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHSv)
Potential invaders:
Fish: Asian Carp

[Invasive species home page]

What's New
Quebec seizes three illegal Asian carp from Montreal businesses
CBC News (7/7)
Quebec's Ministry of Forests, Fauna and Parks seized three Asian carp, an invasive species of fish prohibited in Quebec, after inspections of nine Montreal businesses Wednesday.

Lawmakers urge Trump to immediately issue carp study
The Detroit News (6/28)
The Michigan congressional delegation on Wednesday wrote to President Donald Trump urging him to “immediately” release a stalled report recommending ways to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

EDITORIAL: Carp discovery speaks to danger of inaction
Grand Haven Tribune (6/28)
The Great Lakes are steaming toward an invasive species iceberg while those with power to steer away from catastrophe continue to delay any meaningful intervention that could prevent disaster.

EDITORIAL: Getting creative about carp
The Toledo Blade (3/16)
The state of Michigan has challenged scientists, inventors, and innovators of all kinds to pitch their ideas for stopping Asian carp from reaching the lakes.

Fertile grass carp found in Canadian waters of Lake Erie
Michigan Radio (9/13)
The Canadian government has confirmed that, for the first time, a fertile grass carp has been caught in the Canadian waters of western Lake Erie.

Biologists are making progress against Asian carp
Detroit Free Press (9/2)
Biologists in Illinois say they have been successful in removing large quantities of Asian Carp that threaten the Great Lakes.

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PhragmitesSeveral species of carp native to Asia have been introduced into the United States. Species of particular concern include the black (Mylopharyngodon piceus), bighead (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), grass (Ctenopharyngodon idella), and silver (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) carp, collectively known as "Asian carp."

These nonnative fish species were imported into the United States and can cause significant ecological and economic impacts when introduced into natural water bodies, as demonstrated in the Mississippi River system. While self-sustaining populations of Asian carp have yet to be established in the Great Lakes ecosystem, many consider the threat of their invasion imminent.

Upon introduction, Asian carp populations have thrived in the Mississippi River and connected waterways, causing extensive impacts. Asian carp have migrated toward Lake Michigan through the Illinois River and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC). To prevent Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan and the rest of the Great Lakes, an electrical dispersal barrier system has been constructed in the CSSC. Intensive monitoring is being conducted, including screening for the genetic material, or environmental DNA (eDNA), of the bighead and silver carp as well as conventional sampling for actual specimens. The eDNA of bighead and silver carp has been detected in water samples taken throughout the CSSC and from Calumet Harbor in Lake Michigan. In addition, a live, adult bighead carp was collected in Lake Calumet in June 2010. Overall, these results suggest that Asian carp are approaching Lake Michigan.

Environmental impact: Asian carp pose a threat to the Great Lakes given their potential for rapid growth, consumption of vast quantities of food, and prolific reproduction. These fish can weigh up to 100 pounds, and can grow to a length of more than four feet. They have a broad climate tolerance and are particularly well-adapted to that of the Great Lakes region. Asian carp are voracious, nonselective feeders, adapting their diets to their environment, consuming a wide range of zooplankton, phytoplankton, algae, and detritus at a daily rate of two to three times their body weight. Since the Asian carp's diet overlaps with that of certain native species, they may be strong ecological competitors with the potential to displace and/or consume native populations of fishes, plants mollusks, and other invertebrates, causing devastating ecological and economic impacts to the valuable Great Lakes fisheries.

Illustration: Matthew Thomas, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

For complete overview, identification and management:
View full, print-ready factsheet

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Distribution Maps
Geographic information on the location of aquatic invasive species sightings in the United States is made available through the U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) program. The NAS distribution maps for the following Asian carp species can be found online:

Black Carp
Grass Carp
Bighead Carp
Silver Carp

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Studies, Assessments and Management Plans
2011 Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework
Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC)
This document describes control and prevention actions currently being undertaken by the ACRCC and planned short-term and long-term actions. The framework identifies lead agencies and funding sources for each action.

A Risk Analysis Pertaining to the Use of Triploid Grass Carp for the Biological Control of Aquatic Plants (2008)
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
An important outcome of a hydrilla management workshop organized by Florida LAKEWATCH (January 2008) was recommended use of triploid grass carp as a biocontrol tool for this invasive plant.

Asian Carp of the Genus Hypophthalmichthys (Pisces, Cyprinidae) - A Biological Synopsis and Environmental Risk Assessment (2005)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey
A summary of the biology and distribution of the three species of Hypophthalmichthys; evaluation of the organism risk potential of each species of Hypophthalmichthys in the U.S. using the Generic Nonindigenous Aquatic Organisms Risk Analysis Review Process.

Environmental DNA Research
University of Notre Dame
cutting-edge research on the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) in monitoring for Asian carp. Under contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2009-10, Notre Dame performed eDNA monitoring in the Chicago Area Waterway System and in southern Lake Michigan. This website provides a description of eDNA methods and current research initiatives, along with Asian carp monitoring results.

Management and Control Plan for Bighead, Black, Grass, and Silver Carp in the United States (2007)
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force Asian Carp Working Group
A comprehensive overview of those species of Asian carp identified as a priority concern, including the bighead, black, grass, and silver carp.

Preventing the Introduction of Asian Carp into Minnesota (2007)
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
A plan to prevent the introduction of Asian carp into Minnesota by November 1, 2007.

Proposed Plan for the Prevention, Detection, Assessment, and Management of Asian Carps in Michigan Waters (2010)
Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Division
The focus of the plan is on "strategies and actions that could be directly implemented by DNR and other Michigan agency staff."

Risk Assessment for Asian Carp in Canada (2004)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
This assessment evaluates the risk of survival, reproduction, and spread of Asian carp, as well as their pathogens, parasites, or fellow travelers if introduction into Canada were to occur.

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U.S. and Canadian Federal Resources
Asian Carp and the Great Lakes
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-Great Lakes Invasive Species

Asian Carp Control – The official website of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and University of Texas - Arlington

Asian Carp Monitoring in Western Lake Erie
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Asian Carp Portal
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Chicago District

Asian Carp Species Profile
U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Invasive Species Information Center

Asian Carp Status Report
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Asian Carp Tri-fold Brochure
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Asian Carp: Huge Fish with Huge Impacts
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Biological Synopsis of Grass Carp
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Black Carp
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Black Carp - Mylopharyngodon piceus
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Aquatic Nuisance Species Research Program

Black Carp - Questions and Answers
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Black Carp Fact Sheet
U.S. Geological Survey - Nonindigenous Aquatic Species

Clyde "the Big Smack" Silver Carp
Sea Grant Nonindigenous Species (SGNIS) - Nab the Aquatic Invaders

Electric Dispersal Barrier Project
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Facts about Bighead and Silver Carp
U.S. Geological Survey - Columbia Environmental Research Center

Preventing Movements of Invasive Fish Between the Mississippi River and Great Lakes Basins
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Reproductive Potential of Triploid Grass Carp
U.S. Geological Survey

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State and Provincial Resources
Asian Carp
Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Asian Carp Fact Sheet
Pennsylvania Sea Grant

Asian Carp: An Overview
Michigan Sea Grant - Aquatic Invasive Species

Bighead and silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis & H. molitrix)
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Bighead and Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and H. molitrix)
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Bighead and Silver Carp WATCH
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant

Bighead Carp Classification Table
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Bighead Carp Fact Sheet
Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Black Carp Fact Sheet
Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Exotic Species – Asian Carp
Great Lakes Fishery Commission

Grass Carp
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Grass Carp Fact Sheet
Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Great Lakes Photography: Asian Carp
Michigan Sea Grant

Invasive Carp
Ontario Federation of Anglers Hunters - Invading Species Awareness Program

Pond Owner’s Guide to the Use of Grass Carp in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission

Silver Carp Classification Table
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Silver Carp Fact Sheet
Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Triploid Grass Carp in New York Ponds
New York Department of Environmental Conservation

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Updated: December 13, 2017
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