Asian carp pose a huge threat to Ohio’s wildlife, economy, humans, and recreational opportunities. Silver, bighead, black, and grass carp are all native to Asia (hence the name), but can be found living in the United States.
Ohio is most concerned about silver, bighead, and grass carp. These fish can grow up to 100 lbs, but typically average around 30-40 lbs.
They breed like mosquitoes, spawning multiple times each year, and eat like hogs, eating up to 20% of their body weight daily in plankton. This combination makes them a fierce competitor that can consume much of the plankton that native fish need to survive.
To make matters worse, silver carp are easily startled and will jump up to 8 feet out of the water when disturbed by a passing boat. These fish have injured boaters in several states.
If not stopped, these devastating fish could irreparably alter many of Ohio’s waterways. The Missouri River, which is now 90% Asian carp, offers a glimpse into Ohio’s future if we don’t stop these invasive carp.
In a few cases, live silver and bighead carp, or their DNA, have been found in Ohio, but these fish are not yet established in Ohio’s waterways.
Unfortunately, grass carp have been found throughout the Sandusky River. Grass carp feed on aquatic vegetation. If they move into Lake Erie, they could devour coastal wetland plants and underwater vegetation, which provides shelter for native fish.
The OEC works with federal, state, and local governments and national, regional, state, and local organizations to stop invasive carp.