Black Carp juvenile | credit: USGS

The black carp is one of several species of carp that have been introduced in North America. An invasive fish species in North America, black carp are established in parts of the Mississippi River basin.

Black carp can grow quickly and reach more than 3 feet long. They prey on species such as snails and mussels.

Black carp are one of the four major Chinese aquaculture carps, which also includes silver carp, bighead carp, and grass carp. In the USA, the four species are known collectively as “invasive carp.”

Black carp were imported from Asia to the U.S. multiple times since the 1970s. They were first imported to control snails in fish farms where fish are bred.

Some U.S states ban possession of black carp. Importation of black carp into the U.S. has been prohibited since their 2007 listing as an injurious species under the Lacey Act.

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

Fish Species