Here is April 20 news media video coverage of the Bighead carp catch:
The bighead carp is one of eight species of non-native carp species that have been released in North America outside of their native Asian or European ranges, causing ecosystem problems in their wake. The eight include:
- Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)
- Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) Common carp are European in origin
- Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix)
- Largescale silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys harmandi)
- Bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis)
- Black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus)
- Common goldfish (Carassius auratus)
- Crucian carp (Carassius carassius)
- Mud carp (Cirrhinus molitorella)
While UMR dams (i.e., upstream of Cairo, Illinois) have been thought, anecdotally, to present at least a partial barrier to native and nonnative fish passage, several studies have documented that that passage opportunities do occur and that some fish species can pass through the UMR system of dams. Opportunities for passage vary due to hydrologic conditions at the dams, differences in dam design and operation, and differences in the swimming performance of fish. The UMR supports 143 species of native fish and numerous nonnative species. Nonnative species compose a high percentage of total fish biomass throughout the UMR system (varying among four Long Term Resource Monitoring Program (LTRMP) sampling locations from about 30 to 60%). Most of the nonnative biomass is from Common carp, but recently numbers and biomass of invasive Asian carp have increased substantially.
The LTRMP was authorized under the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 as an element of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Environmental Management Program. The LTRMP is being implemented by the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, a U.S. Geological Survey science center, in cooperation with the five UMR System states (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin).
Nonnative fish dispersal into the UMR may be slowed at Lock and Dam 19, which has the highest head (36 feet) among dams in the mid-portion of the UMR system and is a more substantial barrier to fish migration than other dams, including Lock and Dam 11 (Wilcox et al. 2004). Asian carp have achieved notable abundance in the lower reaches of the UMR system. This has been widely reported in the media. Asian carp are now commercially harvested in those areas.