Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Status of the major aquaculture carps of China in the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin

August 20, 2020

There is concern of economic and environmental damage occuring if any of the four major aquacultured carp species of China, black carp Mylopharyngodon piceus, bighead carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis, silver carp H. molitrix, or grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella, were to establish in the Laurentian Great Lakes. All four are reproducing in the Mississippi River Basin. We review the status of these fishes in relation to the Great Lakes and their proximity to pathways into the Great Lakes, based on captures and collections of eggs and larvae. No black carp have been captured in the Great Lakes Basin. One silver carp and one bighead carp were captured within the Chicago Area Waterway System, on the Great Lakes side of electric barriers designed to keep carp from entering the Great Lakes from the greater Mississippi River Basin. Three bighead carp were captured in Lake Erie, none later than the year 2000. By December 2019, at least 650 grass carps had been captured in the Great Lakes Basin, most in western Lake Erie, but none in Lake Superior. Grass carp reproduction has been documented in the Sandusky and Maumee rivers in Ohio, tributaries of Lake Erie. We also discuss environmental DNA (eDNA) results as an early detection and monitoring tool for bighead and silver carps. Detection of eDNA does not necessarily indicate presence of live fish, but bigheaded carp eDNA has been detected on the Great Lakes side of the barriers and in a small proportion of samples from the western basin of Lake Erie.

Publication Year 2021
Title Status of the major aquaculture carps of China in the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin
DOI 10.1016/j.jglr.2020.07.018
Authors Duane Chapman, Amy J. Benson, Holly S. Embke, Nicole R. King, Patrick Kočovský, Teresa D. Lewis, Nicholas E. Mandrak
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Great Lakes Research
Index ID 70212609
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Columbia Environmental Research Center