Negative Effects Of Carp

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Carp are a family of fish native to Europe and Asia. The common carp has been in the US for over 100 years. The common carp is considered a nuisance fish, but it doesn't seem to be doing too much harm to the lakes and rivers it lives in. The newest carp invaders, seem to be causing trouble in the Mississippi River and surrounding waters. Introduced to the U.S. in the 1970's to control weed and parasite growth in aquatic farms, common carp eventually managed to get into the Mississippi River and establish breeding populations. Common carp are slowly making their way up the Mississippi River and its tributaries and have Asian carp cause serious damage to the native fish populations in the lakes and rivers that they infest because they out-compete…show more content…
Experts are worried that if these fish get into the Great Lakes, they may negatively affect the area's $7 billion per year fishing industry. By out-competing native fish species for food and habitat, carp may reduce the populations of native fish that are so important to fishermen. Even if common carp are kept out of the Great Lakes, continued spread throughout the Mississippi River could result in them reaching 31 states, spelling disaster for our nation's freshwater ecosystems. The common carp can eat up to 40% of its body weight. Other species of carp consume up to 20% of their body weight daily. They can reach a maximum weight of 110 pounds. They eat plankton, which native mussels and fish depend on. Grass carp consume plants and can drastically change river vegetation. Black carp have human-like molars and eat snails and mussels, including native species that are already endangered. When the amount of plants, mussels, and plankton are lower in our lakes and rivers, the Carp feeding habits can make banks and vegetation collapse. However, the clearing of vegetation can make changes to river flows through river regulation and trampling by livestock are more factors in bank…show more content…
With these habits, the ecosystem becomes unbalanced and native species that depend on these food sources suffer. Carp have significant effects on native plants both through direct grazing and through uprooting plants while feeding, leading to a reduction in plant. Soft-leaved, shallow-rooted and submerged plants are most likely to be affected by this, too. The effects of carp on native fish are not well understood. Negative impacts of carp are thought to include competition for food and habitats. However, many native species have experienced declines even before carp became widespread. Although small carp can be mistaken for goldfish, carp can be distinguished by having whiskers at each corner of their mouth. They have small eyes, thick lips and a forked tail. The scales are large and thick. Carp can grow to a very large size, with reports of fish as large as 1.2 meters in length weighing 60 kg. Fish of up to 10 kg have been caught in Australia, but weights of around 4-5 kg are more common. They are usually at low altitudes in slow flowing water. Besides plankton, they also feed on eggs of native species. In other words, they not only eat the food of their competition, but they also eat the competition before it can

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