Bighead Carp

Bighead Carp

  Fact Sheet
Scientific Name (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis)
Classification and Permitting Level 1 - Prohibited Aquatic Nuisance Species
Species Description Bighead carp is a large-bodied (can grow over 100 pounds) invasive fish with downward-facing eyes and a relatively large head. It is very similar in appearance to the invasive silver carp and young bighead carp can be confused with native gizzard shad.
Preferred Habitat It is typically found in large rivers and tends to feed in the upper water layer.
Reason for ANS Designation This fish may compete with native fish, invertebrates, and mussels by filter-feeding on microscopic plants and animals from the water. Once established, there is no good control method.
Place of origin Bighead carp is native to southern and central China but was introduced to the United States in 1973 for aquaculture use. Aside from swimming upstream, bait movements are thought to contribute to new introductions of this species.
Stopping the Spread Never release unused bait back into a waterbody, and do not attempt to stock a new species into a waterbody. Besides usually being illegal, new introductions of fish species may disrupt the current ecosystem.
Additional Information USGS Fact Sheet
USGS Species Information
Gill Rakers
Large Bighead Carp