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Bighead Carp

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Bighead carp, adult
Bighead carp, adult - Photo by U.S. Geological Survey
Scientific Name: 

Hypophthalmichthys nobilis (Richardson, 1845) (ITIS)

Common Name: 

Bighead carp

Native To: 

China (NAS Database)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 
Means of Introduction: 

Imported for aquaculture and for phytoplankton control (NAS Database)

Impact: 

Impacts not adequately known, but may "lead to reductions in populations of native species that rely on plankton for food, including all larval fishes, some adult fishes, and native mussels" (NAS Database)

Spotlights

Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers.

In a letter (PDF | 396 KB) to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the Governors of the eight Great Lakes States have called on the U.S. Congress to provide full federal funding in the 2022 Water Resources Reform and Development Act for the remaining design, construction, operation, and maintenance costs of the Brandon Road Lock and Dam project. The project is intended to prevent invasive carp from migrating up the Mississippi River and entering and colonizing in the Great Lakes.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The governors of Illinois and Michigan today agreed to work jointly to protect the Great Lakes from invasive Asian carp species. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Gov. JB Pritzker today announced an intergovernmental agreement between the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) which allows Illinois to use up to $8 million in funds appropriated in 2018 by the Michigan Legislature to support the pre-construction engineering and design (PED) phase of the Brandon Road Ecosystem Project. Further strengthening the path forward, the State of Illinois also signed a separate PED agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the initial Brandon Road design. The state will serve as the non-federal sponsor, agreeing to help fund design of a portion of the project and to further advance full project design efforts to approximately 30 percent completion.

The Brandon Road Lock and Dam in the Chicago Area Waterway System near Joliet, Illinois, is a critical pinch point for keeping bighead, silver and black carp – the invasive Asian carp species of greatest concern – out of the Great Lakes. The Brandon Road project would install layered technologies including an electric barrier, underwater sound, an air bubble curtain and a flushing lock in a newly engineered channel designed to prevent invasive carp movement while allowing barge passage.

DOC. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

New research by NOAA and partners finds that two species of invasive Asian carp -- the bighead carp and silver carp, collectively known as bigheaded carps -- could be capable of establishing populations in Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron and affecting the health of ecologically and economically important fish species such as yellow perch. The research, appearing online in the journal Biological Invasions, is based on a new model that simulates interactions between the bigheaded carps and a range of fish species, including walleye, yellow perch, and groups lower on the food web over a time period of 50 years. Over 180 non-indigenous aquatic species have already become established in the Great Lakes, with a handful of these producing substantial negative impacts. While bigheaded carps are established in watersheds near the Great Lakes, they have not yet become established in the Great Lakes.

DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a final rule in the Mar 22 Federal Register officially adding the bighead carp to the federal injurious wildlife list. The final rule codifies the Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act (S. 1421), signed into law by President Obama on Dec 14, 2010. The injurious wildlife listing means that under the Lacey Act it is illegal to import or to transport live bighead carp, including viable eggs or hybrids of the species, across state lines, except by permit for zoological, education, medical, or scientific purposes.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
Provides detailed collection information as well as animated map.

Federally Regulated

DOI. FWS. Fish and Aquatic Conservation.

Includes species listed as injurious wildlife under the Federal Lacey Act (18 USC 42), which makes it illegal to import injurious wildlife into the U.S. or transport between the listed jurisdictions in the shipment clause (the continental U.S., the District of Columbia, Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any possession of the U.S.) without a permit. An injurious wildlife listing would not prohibit intrastate transport or possession of that species within a State where those activities are not prohibited by the State. Preventing the introduction of new harmful species is the only way to fully avoid impacts of injurious species on local, regional, and national economies and infrastructure, and on the natural resources of the U.S.

Injurious wildlife are wild mammals, wild birds, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, crustaceans, mollusks and their offspring or eggs that are injurious to the interests of human beings, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, wildlife or wildlife resources of the U.S. Plants and organisms other than those stated above cannot be listed as injurious wildlife. For more information, see Injurious Wildlife: A Summary of the Injurious Provisions of the Lacey Act (Dec 2017; PDF | 401 KB) and Summary of Species Currently Listed as Injurious Wildlife.

Images

Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee; Flickr.

University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Videos

Invasive Carp Regional Coordinating Committee.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Bighead Carp.

Council or Task Force

Alberta Invasive Species Council (Canada).

See also: Fact Sheets for more information about individual invasive species, including those listed as "Prohibited Noxious" and "Noxious" under the Alberta Weed Control Act

Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Washington Invasive Species Council.

Partnership
World Conservation Union. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program (Canada).

Invasive Carp Regional Coordinating Committee.

New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Estuary Program; Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).

Federal Government
DOI. USGS. Columbia Environmental Research Center.

DOI. FWS. Southeast Region.

DOI. FWS. Midwest Region.
DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
Provides distribution maps and collection information (State and County).
International Government
State and Local Government

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. Office of Water Resources.

See also: Aquatic Invasive Animals for species of concern

Oregon State Library. Oregon Documents Repository.
Prepared by: Portland State University, Center for Lakes and Reservoirs

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Missouri Department of Conservation.

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Academic

University of Minnesota. Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center.

University of Minnesota. Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center.

Pennsylvania State University. Pennsylvania Sea Grant.
See also: Aquatic Invasive Species: Resources for additional species information

University of Wisconsin Sea Grant.

Professional
Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Fisheries Management.

Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council (Michigan).

Citations