Black Carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus)

Credit: Leo Nico, U.S.G.S.

Where did the black carp from from?

The black carp is a native of eastern Asia. It was imported for snail control in catfish farms in the early 1970s.


Why is it a problem?

Black carp are voracious eaters of snails and mussels. It is likely that they will change ecosystems dramatically by reducing or eliminating populations of native mussels, many of which are endangered or threatened.


What does the black carp look like?

  • Adults can grow up to 60 inches long and weigh 150 pounds.
  • The fish are blackish brown to dark olive with a white belly.
  • A black carp's mouth is slightly downturned with no barbels.
  • Black carp have large "chain-link" scales.

How did it spread?


Black carp introductions have come from flooded fish farms and mistakenly included in grass carp introductions.


What habitat does the black carp prefer?

It is found in large rivers, lakes and ponds. It does require rivers in which to spawn.






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