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Asian Carp & Invasive Species
Asian Carps – Profile and Resources | Invasive Species Centre
These carps are all native to the rivers, reservoirs, and lakes in China and southern Russia. Asian carps were introduced to the Southern U. Flooding events allowed at least three of the four species Bighead, Silver, and Black carps to escape these facilities and eventually make their way into the Mississippi River Basin. The spread of Grass Carp has largely been the result of stocking for the purposes of aquatic vegetation control.
Asian Carp Overview
A century ago, the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal was hailed as an engineering masterpiece. Built to carry sewage and ships, the canal created an artificial connection between the Great Lakes basin and the Mississippi River Valley — two ecosystems that evolved separately for millennia. Today the canal has become a superhighway that allows plants and animals from one ecosystem to invade the other. Several species of Asian carp threaten to devastate the Great Lakes and inflict irreversible damage on sport fisheries, wildlife, regional economies, and the people that rely on them. Connecting the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River system seemed like a good idea at the time.
These carp are native to China. They were originally imported into the southern United States in the s to provide an inexpensive, fast-growing addition to fresh fish markets. They also served to help keep aquaculture facilities clean. By the carp were found in natural waters in the Mississippi River Basin. Silver carp can now be found in 12 states.