Keep, Cool, Call: What to do if you capture a black carp

Black carps are a species of Asian carp that are a growing threat to our Midwest waters. As molluscivores, black carps eat mussels. The voracious appetites of black carps puts an additional stress on native mussel populations that are already struggling to thrive in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins. In 2017, there were 66 cases of black carp captures in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi, and Missouri. New areas of expansion in the black carp's range include the Peoria Pool of the Illinois Waterway, and also into the Ohio River basin just west of Paducah, Kentucky. Additionally, two additional specimens of young-of-year black carp were captured in 2017 near Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in the same ditch channel that produced several young black carps in 2016.

The Keep, Cool, Call handout (PDF) specifies what you should do and who you should call in the event you capture a black carp. It is important to note that black carps are most commonly caught by commercial fishers in hoop nets. As a bottom dwelling fish, this species is not typically caught by recreational anglers.

To learn more about the current range of black carp in the United States, please visit U.S. Geological Survey's Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database.