Carp, Silver (Hypophthalmichthys)
The Silver Carp is native to the lowland rivers and lakes of China. The Silver Carp can be found in the Amur, Yangtze and Hwang Ho River systems and has been exported worldwide as far a field as Europe.
Silver Carp are an Asian Cyprinid species often referred to as the Asian Carp which is covered in intricate silver scaling (except for its head).
This species is closely related to the Bighead Carp and large scaled Silver Carp with a large rotund head and slightly under slung eyes.
Silver Carp have a similar head to the Bighead Carp with a protruding lower lip/jaw giving the Silver Carp a slightly ‘ugly’ almost abnormal appearance.
The lateral line is clearly visible on the sleek and streamlined Silver Carp which commonly displays a dull red to black colouration on its fins and tail.
The Silver Carp has not got a stomach (gut) and is thought to feed continuously on zoo plankton and detritus using a highly specialized filtration apparatus.
This species of Asian carp is able to tolerate the toxins contained in the extremely toxic blue green algae and has been introduced into numerous countries in an effort to control water quality and blue green algae blooms.
The Silver Carp in the US has been introduced to control water quality in reservoirs and sewage treatment facilities but has escaped into nearby river systems during floods.
This species has now become an established species in various river systems throughout the US where it has reproduced and fed at such levels that native freshwater fish species are now under serious threat.
Recent scientific study in the United States has indicated that Silver Carp and Bighead Carp have been observed to interbreed creating hybridized strains of this invasive and ravenous freshwater fish species further imperiling the native fish stocks of US rivers.
Boats travelling at speed down some US rivers have been observed to cause massive displays of ‘Flying Carp’ as literally hundreds of Silver Carp and Bighead Carp hurl themselves out of the water as they are startled by the boats.
Silver Carp in Thailand are caught whilst carp fishing for various other carp and monster fish species in Thailand and are present in various fishing lakes and ponds where they attain weights to twenty pounds.