Science Center Objects

The negative effects of invasive carp to the Nation’s waterways are far reaching and have potential to expand and intensify. USGS is delivering data, tools and technologies to partners to keep these invasive fish out of the Great Lakes and other aquatic ecosystems and control them where they occur in the Ohio River and Mississippi River Basins.

Underwater sound technology is being field tested as a tool for herding and deterring Bighead carp, and is being used in combination with fish netting activities to maximize control efforts. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an effective deterrent of invasive carp and USGS is currently working with partners to field test methods for elevating CO2 levels in water to deter invasive carp range expansion. USGS also has extensive capabilities in invasive carp biology and life history research that have led to development of models, tools and strategies to better understand the risk of invasive carp establishment and survival. One risk assessment tool is the Fluvial Egg Drift Simulator that incorporates egg and larval temperature-dependent development rates for Bighead, Silver and Grass carp with water temperature and flow conditions to predict where invasive carp are likely to spawn and where eggs and larvae will likely be located after a spawning event.


title slide of invasive carp geonarrative

New geonarrative describes broad USGS approach to invasive carp research. (Public domain.)

USGS Science and Technology Help Managers Battle Invasive Carp: A Geonarrative

Learn more about how the USGS is helping battle invasive carp by scrolling through this geonarrative, also known as a story map.




More information about invasive carp research is available from the links below.


Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Science

Increased threat of invasive carp entering the Great Lakes and spreading to other basins such as the Upper Mississippi River and Ohio River basins, has led to increased prevention and control efforts since 2010.

  • Invasive Carp Early Detection
    In collaboration with partners, USGS scientists are testing early detection methods and technologies to enhance the ability of agencies to manage invasive carp to minimize their influence and spread.


  • Invasive Carp Risk Assessment and Life History
    USGS invasive carp biology and life history research has led to the development of models, tools and strategies to better understand the risk of invasive carp establishment and survival.


  • Invasive Carp Integrated Control and Containment
    Successful management of invasive species requires methods to contain future spread, reduce population levels, and minimize their effects.  In collaboration with partners, USGS scientists have developed and continue to test containment and control tools and technologies, and investigate options for combined implementation of tools using an integrated adaptive management approach.

Wetland and Aquatic Research Center Science 




Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center Science






  • Screening toxic compounds using cellular assays
    Because of the negative impacts that invasive carp species have on aquatic ecosystems, a method of eliminating or controlling them would be highly valued by aquatic resource managers. Chemical control is an option that is routinely employed to control invasive species.



  • Application of broadband sound for bigheaded carp deterrence
    Both silver and bighead carp are sensitive to higher frequency sound than many native fish and silver carp exhibit a unique jumping behavior in response to outboard motors, suggesting an aversion to high frequency sound. While control methods such as electricity and bubble barriers are better studied (5, 6), few studies have investigated the response of these fish to sound. 


  • Bioacoustic manipulation of invasive Bigheaded carp
    The goal of this project is to investigate the sensory biology of bigheaded carp and determine if sound stimuli can be used to deter and guide the movement of both bighead and silver carp in captivity and in the field. An additional goal is to assess if there are negative impacts of sound stimuli on native fish populations


  • Assessment of carbon dioxide as barrier to Bigheaded carp
    A large-scale pond trial to assess behavioral response of bighead carp, silver carp and non-target fishes (bigmouth buffalo, channel catfish, paddlefish and yellow perch) has been completed. Results from this trial demonstrated that all fish avoided the area where CO2was injected until the pond was saturated.



  • Developing a portable LAMP assay for detecting grass and black carp
    We have developed and validated a portable kit that uses LAMP to detect bigheaded carps in bait tanks. This kit is currently in use by law enforcement in three states to help stop the spread of bigheaded carps, and the development of another assay to detect grass and black carp would expand their capacity to help stop the spread of these invasive species as well.




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