Invasive Carp in the Mississippi River Basin

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Authors: JOHN H. CHICK and MARK A. PEGG
Date: June 22, 2001
From: Science(Vol. 292, Issue 5525)
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 836 words

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BLACK CARP POSE A POTENTIAL THREAT TO the ecology of the Mississippi River Basin, as Dan Ferber warns in his News Focus article "Will black carp be the next zebra mussel?" (13 Apr., p. 203). Nevertheless, before black carp ever become a problem, the Mississippi Basin will have been contending with two other invasive Asian carp, bighead and silver carp, for several years. Both species were brought to the United States in the 1970s for use in aquaculture, escaped into the Mississippi River soon thereafter, and subsequently established reproducing populations in the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Illinois rivers (1). Recently, populations of these two species have increased dramatically in certain areas. For example, the bighead carp population in navigation pool 26 of the Mississippi River (near St. Louis, Missouri) appears to be increasing exponentially (see the figure). An exceptional year class of bighead carp was produced in the La Grange reach of the Illinois River (near Peoria, Illinois) in 2000, with the total number of carp captured increasing by two orders of magnitude compared with previous years (i.e., from less than 10 per year to more than 1100 captured in 2000).

Catch data from commercial fishers also show dramatic increases in recent years. From 1988 to 1992, the combined...

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Source Citation
CHICK, JOHN H., and MARK A. PEGG. "Invasive Carp in the Mississippi River Basin." Science, vol. 292, no. 5525, 2001, p. 2250. Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.
  

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