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What are Asian Carp?

Photo of Asian Carp

There are many carp native to Asia, but in North America, “Asian carp” usually refers to bighead, black, grass, and silver carp — all of which are nuisance species in inland waterways. The Asian carp that have garnered the most attention are bighead and silver carp (together, the bigheaded carp), large fish that filter plankton from the water column. Grass carp primarily feed on aquatic vegetation, and black carp feed almost exclusively on mussels, clams, and snails. Grass carp (often sterilized to prevent reproduction) are sometimes stocked to control nuisance aquatic vegetation in lakes and ponds but can be considered a nuisance when they enter waters they were not intended to colonize or when they become established. Bighead, black, and grass carp are still sometimes used in aquaculture in North America.

Tags: Fish, Ecosystems, Biodiversity, Recreation, Rivers, Streams, Aquatic