Silver Carp
Hypophthalmichthys molitrix

An illustration of Silver Carp, a species of Asian carp. The locations of the dorsal, anal and pelvic fins, its curved lateral line from gill to tail, as well as its lack of barbels are indicated on the illustration. Illustration by © Joseph R. Tomelleri

Do you think you have discovered an aquatic invasive species?

  1. Do not return the species to the water.
  2. Note the exact location (GPS coordinates) and the observation date.
  3. Take photos.
  4. Take note of identifying features.
  5. Report an Aquatic Invasive Species, depending on where you are.
  6. What you can do to reduce the risk.

Silver Carp has a large, scaleless head, and a terminal, toothless mouth without barbels. Its eyes lie below the centre line of its body. Closely related and similiar to the Bighead Carp, Silver Carp tends to be narrower in shape. It is greyish-black on top, olive to silver-shaded on its sides and silver underneath, and has small, curved scales. Individuals can grow to more than 40 kilograms, lengths over 1.2 metres, and lives between 15 to 20 years. Gill-rakers are long, thin, fused, porous, and sponge-like, adapted specifically to filter phytoplankton, the microscopic plants on which it feeds. Silver and Bighead carps have been known to hybridize. Silver Carp is perhaps best known for its startle response, sometimes leaping as high as three metres above the water surface when disturbed by boat motors or other noise.

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