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Discover Nature: Invasive Carp

Invasive Carp 1
A bag of invasive carp is removed from a boat and given to the commercial fisherman for use as bait.

This week on Discover Nature, hear about ongoing efforts to manage and remove invasive carp in Missouri.

Invasive carp were introduced to Missouri in the 1970s, and their populations have exponentially grown in the decades since. In our state, there are four types of carp invading our waterways: black, grass, silver, and bighead. These pose a threat to native species by adding competition for resources, and they also pose a threat to fisherman and those using the rivers for recreational use as the fish are known to jump out of the water and hit both boats and people.

Just last month, the Missouri Department of Conservation in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service worked to remove thousands of pounds of invasive carp from the lower Grand River near Brunswick. Electrofishing and netting were the main methods used to remove the carp from the area, and then the removed carp were given to a commercial fisherman for use as bait.

Over 6,000 invasive carp were removed from the Grand River in five days, and now research will be conducted to see how quickly the area repopulates. The goal of this project is to determine whether invasive carp removal is feasible on a large scale to decrease the invasive fish’s population. For more information on invasive carp in Missouri, go to Invasive Carp Control | Missouri Department of Conservation (mo.gov).

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