silver carp jumping
Silver Carp | credit: USFWS

The silver carp is a large, fast growing invasive species that are found in waterways in North America. Silver carp are fast-growing and prolific feeders compete with native fish.

Silver carp were originally imported into North America for use in aquaculture ponds. Eventually the species entered the Mississippi River system by way of flooding or accidental release. Like many fish species, Asian carp use navigation locks to bypass dams and extend their range upstream.

According to USGS, silver carp are established in Louisiana and Illinois and been reported in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee.

If startled, they often jump high into the air. When airborne, these heavy bodied fish can pose a safety risk for boaters.

Silver carp, together with black carpgrass carp, and bighead carp are known collectively as “invasive carp” in the USA and “Asian carp” in Canada.

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

Related Information

Invasive Carp

Fish Species