Introduced Species Information

Дата канвертавання21.04.2016
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Introduced Species Information

Name of Species:

(include scientific name, common name, and classification)

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Hypophthalmichthys nobilis

COMMON NAME: Bighead Carp

This fish may also be referred to as noble fish, speckled amur, or lake fish.














H. molitrix


Where is it from? Where, when, and why was it introduced? Where can it be found today?

The bighead Carp are native to China.

Catfish farmers in the U.S. imported Asian Carp decades ago to eat up the algae in their ponds; the fish slowly escaped into the wild and have been making their way up the Mississippi River.

Currently this fish has expanded its range to include the United States. Bighead Carp are found throughout much of the Mississippi River basin and is reproducing in this area also. Bighead Carp have also been reported in every large river system in Indiana up to a dam that blocks upstream movement.

Effects on People:

How do people use/interact with this species? What, if any, consequences are there for humans?

Bighead Carp can pose a direct threat to boaters. When startled, the fish launch themselves out of the water, turning into 40-pound projectiles that could easily smash into a fisherman’s or a skier’s face!

Fishermen in the Great Lakes will lose their livelihood if the Bighead Carp come in and destroy the other fish that live there. Tourism, so also money and other jobs in the state of Michigan will be affected.

Effects on Ecosystem:

What changes have been observed in the ecosystem since the species’ introduction? How have other organisms been affected?

They are eating machines; bighead Carp can grow incredibly quickly and reproduce rapidly as well. That's what makes them so dangerous to the lakes. Asian Carp aren't direct predators, but they eat plankton, which knocks out the bottom layers of the food chain. If they were to successfully establish themselves in the Great Lakes and start breeding, they could utterly disrupt the existing ecosystem, potentially starving out the trout and other native fish that make the Great Lakes a tourism hot spot.

Reasons for Success:

What information can you find about the species that might explain why it is successful in its new environment? (e.g. habitat needs, roles within ecosystem, etc.)

Bighead Carp are a freshwater fish, so the Great Lakes are the perfect habitat for them. There is also plenty of plankton for them to eat in the Great Lakes.

Issues for the Future:

Are the attempts to control the growth spread of this species? What are the options? What are the trade-offs of each of these options?

The Army Corps of Engineers put an electric barrier in the canal to prevent the carp from coming into Lake Michigan.
Others want the locks of the Chicago canal to be shut down immediately, to prevent the carp from ever gaining a finhold in the Great Lakes.

Illinois lawmakers argue that closing the canal would disrupt hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of shipping.

The White House has taken action as well. Federal officials announced $78.5 million in funding to prevent the spread of Asian carp; plans include building new barriers between the Chicago canal and the Des Plaines River.
The trade-offs of each of these options are the cost involved.

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