• Mississippi National River and Recreation Area

    Mississippi

    National River & Recreation Area Minnesota

Grass Carp

Ctenopharyngodon idella

The Grass carp tolerates some salt, high temperature ranges, and low oxygen. It also survives better than native fish in polluted waters. Grass carp, as you might guess from the name, eat grass and other underwater plants, but will also eat insects and decaying plants. They are capable of consuming up to 40% of their body weight every day. Because of their amazing ability to eat, this species was brought to the US in 1963 for research on controlling aquatic plants. They weren't carefully monitored and were found in the Missouri and Mississippi rivers in Arkansas by the 1970s. Because they reproduce quickly and eat the plants that other native species depend on, they are considered an invasive fish but are already established in most of the Mississippi River (map).

Statistics:

Maximum length is approximately 59 inches
Maximum weight is around 100 pounds

For more information:

USGS Grass Carp Fact Sheet

Grass Carp (USGS)
A large Grass Carp
US Geological Survey

Did You Know?

A barge going underneath a bridge.

Sixty percent of all grain exported from the United States is transported and shipped on the Mississippi River.