Silver Carp

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Asian Carp

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Asian Carp - Filleting & Cooking

Hypophthalmichthys molitrix
Cyprinidae (minnows) in the order Cypriniformes (carps, minnows and loaches)

Large bodied with small scales. Ventral (belly) keel extends from head to vent (anus). Large head with upturned mouth and eyes on underside. Head relatively smaller, and eyes higher on head than bighead carp. Keel extends forward to base of pectoral fins. No dark splotches.

Total length: 12 to 24 inches; maximum length 48 inches.
Habitat and conservation: 
Large rivers and the lower reaches of their tributaries, floodplain pools, reservoirs and reservoir tailwaters. Native to big rivers of eastern Asia, especially China. Introduced in United States to help improve water quality in wastewater treatment plants by feeding on very small plankton. MDC and its partners are trying to contain the spread of this fish in Missouri.
Young feed on plankton strained from the water column. Adults feed on bottom detritus and algae. Have become abundant and probably compete with native plankton eaters, including paddlefish and gizzard shad.
Distribution in Missouri: 
Large rivers and lakes throughout Missouri.
Invasive, non-native species. It is illegal to use this fish as live bait. Do not collect, transfer or dump this fish!
Life cycle: 
Mature at 4 years or more; maximum lifespan exceeds 12 years. Spawning is triggered by a rise in river level. This species is not known to successfully spawn in ponds or lakes.
Human connections: 
Used as food in other parts of the world and has been known to make up more than 90 percent of the commercial fish catch (along with bighead carp) in introduced areas. When startled, large silver carp can leap from the water and injure boaters.
Ecosystem connections: 
Very destructive to native fisheries, including paddlefish.
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