Invasive Silver Carp Jumping | credit: USFWS

In North America, four species of invasive fish – black carp, grass carp, bighead carp, and silver carp are known collectively as “invasive carp.” In Canada, they are sometimes known as “Asian carp.” The bighead carp and silver carp are collectively called bigheaded carps or Chinese carps.

In North America, black, grass, bighead, and silver carps were originally imported for use in aquaculture ponds. All four species entered the Mississippi River system by way of flooding or accidental release.

Invasive carp are fast-growing and prolific feeders compete with native fish. Each species of invasive carp pose a unique set of risks to the environment and people.

In general, adult invasive carp are easily distinguishable from native species. Unfortunately carp fry and juvenile fish can be hard to identify. Young invasive carp can be unknowingly spread by the release of baitfish.

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

In Canada, invasive 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

Fish Species

Silver Carp

Grass Carp

Black Carp

Bighead Carp

Common Carp