bighead carp invasive species
Juvenile Bighead Carp | credit: USGS

Bighead carp are one of four species of invasive carp that are found in North America. cause they grow quickly and aggressively compete with native fish for food and habitat.

Bighead carp are identified by their large, scaleless head, toothless mouth, and eyes oriented below the centerline of their body. They can weigh up to 100 pounds.

Bighead carp feed on zooplankton, plant material, and invertebrates. Lacking true stomachs, they feed almost continuously.

The bighead carp and silver carp are collectively called bigheaded carps or Chinese carps. Bighead carp have been known to hybridize with silver carp and produce viable, reproductive offspring.

In the USA, wild caught bighead carp can be reported to the USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database.

In Canada, bighead carp can be reported by visiting the Oceans and Fisheries Canada website at, calling the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711, or via EDDMapS Ontario. For more information, visit

Related Information

Invasive Carp

Silver Carp

Grass Carp

Black Carp