SD Least Wanted.comAquatic invasive Species

SD Least
View Larger Image © SD GF&P

Asian carp

Consists of 4 species:

  • Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix)
  • Bighead Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis)
  • Black Carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus)
  • Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)

Southeast Asia. Escaped aquaculture ponds in Southern US in 1970s and migrated up Mississippi/Missouri Rivers.

  • Silver Carp: Scale-less head, low set eyes, upturned mouth, and keel extends to isthmus, generally silver coloration.
  • Bighead Carp: Scale-less head, low set eyes, upturned mouth, and keel extends only to pectoral fins, generally blotchy coloration.
  • Black & Grass Carp: Have large scales (similar to common carp), with an olive to blackish brown body.

These fish are highly adaptive, prolific spawners that quickly outgrow potential controls by predation and compete with juvenile game fish and native invertebrates for food resources. 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.

Range Expansion:

Asian carp are spread by migrating in connected waterways and can be introduced by anglers mistakenly using juveniles as bait.

South Dakota Distribution:
Asian Carp Video

Keep Aquatic Invasive Species Out of South Dakota's Waters


  • Remove aquatic plants and animals before leaving any waterbody.
  • Drain water from bait bucket, live well, bilge and motor before leaving any waterbody.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait, fish parts, and worms in the trash.
  • Spray/wash boat, trailer, and equipment with high pressure hot water on your way home or at home -OR- dry everything for at least 5 days.
  • Always report questionable species.


  • Never release live animals or plants - this includes all aquarium species, bait, pets or water garden plants. Do not release these into the wild. If you cannot find another home for animals, dispose of them in a trash can or bury them. Seal plants in plastic bags and dispose.


Because these hitchhikers can:

  • Reduce game fish populations
  • Ruin boat engines and jam steering equipment
  • Make lakes/rivers unusable by boaters and swimmers
  • Dramatically increase the operating costs of drinking water plants, power plants, dam maintenance, and industrial processes
  • Reduce native species
  • Degrade ecosystems
  • Affect human health
  • Reduce property values
  • Affect local economies of water-dependent communities.
More information on