Can I eat Asian carp?

Asian carp of all types have white, firm, mild flesh, which is excellent table fare, but all Asian carp also have intramuscular bones in the filets that many people find undesirable. Asian carp feed low on the food web, are fast growing, are low in fat in the filets, and are not usually bottom feeders — all properties of fish that are lower in contaminants. Like any fish taken from inland waters, however, be aware of restrictions on consuming fish from any particular waterway. For instructions on how to deal with the bones in Asian carp filets, see Flying Fish, Great Dish.

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A Silver Carp tagged with an acoustic transmitter (black tag located on the fish’s back) to monitor movement in the field. Fish
November 30, 2000

A Silver Carp tagged with an acoustic transmitter

A Silver Carp tagged with an acoustic transmitter (black tag located on the fish’s back) to monitor movement in the field. Fish were monitored in response to the recording of a boat motor

UMESC Scientist showing Silver Carp on left and Bighead Carp on right
November 30, 2000

UMESC Scientist showing Silver Carp on left and Bighead Carp on right

UMESC Scientist showing Silver Carp on left and Bighead Carp on right

Asian Carp mouth showing gills.
November 30, 2000

Asian Carp mouth showing gills.

Asian Carp mouth showing gills.

Silver Carp, Illinois River
November 30, 2000

Silver Carp, Illinois River

Silver Carp, Illinois River

Asian carp captured on the Wabash River
November 30, 2000

Asian carp captured on the Wabash River

Asian carp captured on the Wabash River

Image: Bighead Carp

Bighead Carp

Bighead carp are a large and troublesome invasive species from Asia found in the great rivers of the central United States.