Bighead Carp

Hypophthalmichthys nobilis

Similar to the silver carp, the bighead carp eat plankton and sometimes decaying leaves. They rarely jump, and they grow much larger than silver carp. When farmed along with catfish, the two species grow well together.

Bighead carp are more frequently eaten in the rest of the world than are the other Asian carp. They are federally listed as injurious species, which means bringing these fish into the US or transporting them across state lines is illegal. Because they reproduce quickly and eat the plankton that other native species depend on, they are considered an invasive fish but are already established in most of the Mississippi River (map).

Bighead Carp Statistics

  • Maximum length: 55 in (1.4 m)
  • Maximum weight: 88 lbs (40 kg)

For more information

USGS Bighead Carp Fact Sheet
Minnesota DNR Asian Carp Page
USGS Fact Sheet: Bigheaded (Silver and Bighead) Carp

Bighead Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis)

A fisherman holding a bighead carp

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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