Invasion Carp!

Published: July 11, 2012

Original Presentation- July 11, 2012 Big Muddy Speaker Series – Kansas City

“Invasion Carp!” by Duane Chapman, research fisheries biologist for the USGS Invasive Carp Research Program at the River Studies Branch of Columbia Environmental Research Center.

The infamous flying carpOne of the most “charismatic megafauna” of the Missouri River doesn’t actually belong there. Actually, there are several species of recently introduced asian carp that are changing the ecosystem of the river.

Throughout the Mississippi River watershed, and now potentially the Great Lakes, “Flying Carp” have been flopping their way into people’s boats and all over You-Tube. But much of the havoc they are wreaking is under water. USGS biologist Duane Chapman has been on the front lines of the asian carp invasion across the world. He joined us for an update on what is being learned about these new big river inhabitants and their effects on our rivers.

The two latest asian carp species to invade the Missouri River, the silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and the bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) are both important aquaculture species in China. Both were introduced to North America to clean algae in aquaculture ponds and quickly began to escape. The floods of 1993 and 1995 spread the species throughout the Mississippi River basin and beyond.

These filter feeders are having profound impacts on the food chain in our rivers. In some locations in the Illinois River they are estimated to compose more than 80% of the biomass. And when the silver carp get jumping, they’re impossible to ignore.

From the basics on carp biology to the latest efforts in commercial fishing and keeping the carp out of the Great Lakes, we were lucky to get an update on the asian carp invasion from Duane Chapman of the USGS.

Silver Carp RodeoUSFWS biologist Pam Thiele trails a fountain of silver carp on the Illinois River. photo courtesy of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.


The Big Muddy Speakers Series in Kansas City

is hosted by these wonderful partners!

Thanks to all of our venue hosts for making this possible! Click here for a list of upcoming presentations» The Big Muddy Speaker Series is also held monthly in Rocheport and St. Charles.

Recordings of Presentations

Kansas City Digital Video has been recording Big Muddy Speaker Series presentations. These are available on their website at this link. Some contain synchronized powerpoint presentations. We will be posting these to the archived presentation pages on Thanks Micheal Morgan and crew for putting this important archive online! The Big Muddy Speaker Series is partially funded by the Columbia Ecological Services Field Office (USFWS) and the Mo. Dept. of Conservation.


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