Although the impacts of black, silver, and bighead and may not be direct, the presence of these species can reverberate through the food chain and impact both native species and local economies. This is due mostly to the food sources they consume. These include plankton which is also a major food source for native mussels, larval fish and several species of adult fishes. In this way, carp can disturb food web interactions and negatively impact native species and their associated energy flows.
The disturbance of native food webs by invasive carp can also impact local commercial fisheries as their presence results in declines of native species. In addition, there is not yet a large market for invasive carp. Without the establishment of such markets, local fisheries could be compromised. In addition, silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) jump out of the water when startled and can injure boaters.
Control and Management
Prevention of the sale and transport of Asian Carp is the most cost-effective means of management.
Other management and control options are outlined in the Management and Control Plan for Bighead, Black, Grass, and Silver Carps in the United States. Plan Link: Carps_Management_Plan
Photo credits: Asian carp identification photos: The Tip of the MITT Watershed Council, http://www.watershedcouncil.org/how-to-identify-asian-carp.html.