Aquatic Nuisance - Asian Carp
Asian Carp includes 4 species:
Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix)
Bighead Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis)
Black Carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus)
Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)
Where did they come from?
- Originated from Asia and were introduced into the United States in the 1970's.
Where can they be found in South Dakota?
- Bighead, Silver and Grass carp are found in the Missouri River below Gavin's Point Dam, and the James, Big Sioux and Vermillion rivers.
What do they look like?
- Bighead and Silver carp do not have scales on their head and their body scales are very small.
- Mature carp can grow to over 60 lbs. in weight and 4 ft. in length.
- Bighead and Silver carp have low-set eyes and a large upturned mouth.
- Silver carp may jump out of the water when disturbed by boat motors.
- Black carp have large scales, with a blackish brown body.
Why are Asian Carp a problem?
- Asian carp juveniles closely resemble several bait and rough fish species.
- These fish are highly adaptive, prolific spawners, quickly outgrow potential controls by predation and compete with native fish for food resources which includes native snails and mussels.
- Silver carp pose a physical danger because of their leaping ability. These large fish may collide with boaters, personal watercraft, or water skiers and cause serious injury.
How are Asian Carp spread?
- Many times Asian Carp are mistaken and used as bait when they are juvenile.
Check out Aquatic Nuisance Species Prevention on ways to prevent the spread of Aquatic Nuisance Species
Asian Carp links
USGS fact sheet on Silver Carp
USGS fact sheet on Bighead Carp
USGS fact sheet on Black Carp
USGS fact sheet on Grass Carp
Bill Dance video of flying carp and prevention information
Pictures of Asian Carp
South Dakota Bighead and Silver Carp Distribution Map
South Dakota Grass Carp Distribution Map