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Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix)

The Silver Carp or Hypophthalmichthys molitrix is one of the species of Asian Carp that is threatening to invade and devastate The Great Lakes.  The Silver Carp along with the Bighead Carp where introduced by Catfish farmers in the 1970s to help control algae.  Floods in the 1990s overflowed the ponds that kept these freshwater fish secured and they made their way into the Mississippi River basin.  They have since traveled up the Mississippi and have reproduced so much that they have even become the most abundant species in several areas!  Silver Carps also known as Flying Carp are now considered an invasive species, and should be reported to the DNR if caught anywhere near The Great Lakes.
The ravenous appetite of the Silver Carp along with its ability to reproduce quickly makes it all the more dangerous.  These fish are not small either, growing to over 4' long and weighing in at over 100lbs!  One rather strange, but even more dangerous attribute of these invasive monsters is the fact that they like to jump out of the water when a boat passes by.  This can be very bad for the fishermen and the boats alike!  Just take a look at these videos below to see the Silver Carp jumping like maniacs out of the water!


Another odd characteristic of the Silver Carp is the fact that they have no stomach!  They feed on phytoplankton, zooplankton and detritus.  As you can imagine with these fish, it is in one end and out the other!  Some think that these Carp can be use to control some forms of algae, while other worry about the side effects of introducing this species of Carp.

If you have any additional information or questions about the Silver Carp just leave us a comment.

1 comment:

Paul Clos said...

I wonder if they taste any good. Do you know?

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