By: Andrew Holesinger
Asian Carp, swimming fish or flying fish? You decide. Asian carp are big jumpers. They also are a big invasive species.
Asian Carp are a big invasive species in the Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, and Mississippi Rivers. They thrive in deep, warm rivers and lakes. The Asian Carp lives in a temperate zone and in other hot areas. Asian Carp eats aquatic plants, crustaceans, and some insects. Humans are its only predator.
The Asian Carp, or hypophthalmicthys nobilis, are aggressive fish that eats many things near and around it. They jump up very high, about nine feet in the air if they hear a boat motor. Asian Carp adults grow up to twenty-four to thirty inches long, and can weigh up from fifteen to fifty pounds. Asian Carp are deep-bodied fish. They have an olive-green to a brassy-yellow color.
Asian Carp, naturally found in western China, were introduced to the United States of America. They lived in fish farms to clean out other fish’s droppings. Then there was a big flood that took all the Asian Carp out of the ponds and in to the Mississippi River. They have been moving north ever since.
In its natural habitat, Asian Carp were and still are used as a food source. But, when it is in the United States of Americas’ rivers and lakes it causes chaos and havoc. Asian Carp eat way too much food and leave no food for other fish. They also over populate all other fish so the fishing industry goes way down because fishermen are not getting money for catching the carp. When carp eat too much the plants can’t give out oxygen and the water clarity is terrible, this causes other fish to die.
Many things are being done to try and stop the spread of Asian Carp. For example, there is an electrical that is shocking any fish near it. Scientist are trying to put poison in the river to kill all the Asian Carp near Lake Michigan. If the carp gets in to Lake Michigan, Michigan will lose its eight billion dollar fishing industry and the Asian Carp will spread to all the other great lakes.
Invasive species are found all over the world and they are causing harm and chaos to many ecosystems. Many attack and kill native plants and animals, or they might eat all the native plants or animals’ food and the native organisms will die out. Scientists are trying to stop invasive species to enable the natural food chains to continue.