Silver Carp

Hypophthalmichthys molitrix

Silver carp are the only species of carp that jump from the water when startled by boat noise. They can leap as high as ten feet out of the water, and have been known to injure boaters and damage equipment while jumping.

Silver carp eat by filtering plankton from the water, and often swim in schools near the surface. These fish were imported to control algae growth in ponds, and are grown as a food fish. Government agencies have studied silver carp and used them for cleaning city sewage treatment ponds. 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).


  • Maximum length: 39 in (1 m)
  • Maximum weight: 60 lbs (27 kg)

For more information

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

Silver Carp (USGS/Auburn Univ)
Silver Carp

USGS/Auburn University

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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111 E. Kellogg Blvd., Suite 105
Saint Paul, MN 55101


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