Asian carp are a select group of cyprinid fishes (minnow family) that are native to Asia. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service specifically uses the term “Asian carp” to refer to bighead carp, silver carp, grass carp, and black carp. Each of these species was intentionally introduced into the United States for different purposes; however, all are now considered invasive. Asian carp compete with native species and pose a threat to Indiana’s aquatic ecosystems.
The Indiana DNR has been addressing the threat these fish pose to native ecosystems through engagement with the Asian Carp Regional Coordination Committee, which is focused on keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. Indiana’s DNR is also an active participant in the Ohio River Basin Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework, which outlines a plan for preventing and reducing the Asian carp population, while gaining a better understanding of social, ecological, and economic effects of Asian carp.
Whether done intentionally or accidentally, the potential introduction of Asian carp into Indiana’s water bodies is a very real threat. The Indiana DNR is diligently working to reduce Asian carp impacts on our rivers and streams. Everyone can help stop the spread of Asian carp by staying educated about where these fish exist and how to properly identify them.