About Invasive Carp
Each invasive carp used contributes to protecting up to 150 native fish and endangered freshwater species. It also protects the $500 billion dollar economy and livelihoods of over 1.5 million people who depend on the Mississippi River.
Carp, originally from Europe and Asia, have been in the U.S. for a long time. The common carp has been here for over a century. However, the new invasive carp family, including bighead, black, grass, and silver carp, is causing trouble in the Mississippi River and nearby waters. Introduced in the 1970s to tackle algae and weeds in aquatic farms and canals, these carp escaped into the Mississippi and started multiplying.
Now, they're making their way up the river and have been spotted as far north as Minnesota, worrying experts about the threat to our aquatic ecosystems. Invasive carp harm native fish by out-competing for food and space, lowering water quality, endangering sensitive organisms like freshwater mussels, and dominating entire streams, displacing native species. And silver carp's habit of jumping out of the water poses the risks of injuring boaters and water skiers, and damaging boats.
Invasive carp lay hundreds of thousands of eggs at a time, growing and spreading their populations quickly. Experts fear these fish entering the Great Lakes could harm the $7 billion/year fishing industry. If they spread in Minnesota, the resort and sport fishing industry may be at risk, as carp out-compete vital native fish populations for food and habitat, impacting anglers.