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Silver Carp Information

Silver Carp Fact Sheet


Asian Carp is a term used for a variety of carps including the Silver Carp(Hypophthalmichthys molitrix)(picture) and the Bighead Carp (picture) and all are a serious problem in the US where they are not native.

  • Silver Carp Description - The head does not have scales. The body is covered in very small scales. The eyes are eyes forward on the head in the middle and look down a little. The mouth is turned up and they have not teeth.The body thick up and down but somewhat flat side to side and they are usually have olive-green backs and silver sides, but sometimes have a bronze to red tinge.
  • Silver Carp Size - Up to 100 pounds and up to 40 inches long.
  • Silver Carp Distribution - Native to Asia but spread worldwide as a food fish and introduced into the wild accidentally.
  • What Silver Carp Eat - Plankton and small insects. They are mostly filter feeders but seem to be adapting to eat a more varied diet.
  • Silver Carp Spawn Must have flowing water to reproduce. They spawn in 18 to 20 C degree water by running upstream and groups of 15 to 20 fish release eggs and sperm into the water, where they must float freely until hatching.-
  • Silver Carp Attraction to Light - Not attracted to light, but do jump when scared. They often jump high out of the water when a boat is near so they have injured and killed boaters and skiers wheh hit at high speeds
  • Silver Carp Life Cycle - Mature to breeding at three years old and breed until 10 years old. They live in rivers and streams, feeding in schools until spawning time then return to bigger water to feed again.
  • Silver Carp ProblemsSiver carp eat enough plankton to damage native fish populations by removing food at the lower end of the food chain, and also remove food native filter feeders like paddlefish need. They can injure boaters and skiers when they jump.
  • Forum Discussion - See my response to a forum post and add your own about silver carp
  • Silver Carp are a danger to native fish species and are spreading rapidly in the US.
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