Wildlife Resources
Wildlife Resources Logo
Fishing Home Contact Us News DNR Home
Wildlife Diversity
Hunting
Law Enforcement
Publications
Disability Services
News/Info
Licensing
go Wild!
License Plate
Kid Zone
go Wild
Bass Logo

Learn How to ID Asian carp

USFWS videos on identifying Asian carp

http://www.asiancarp.us/multimedia.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B49OWrCRs38

Asian carp are threatening West Virginia waters. You can help biologists track the movement of Asian carp by learning to identify them and reporting any sightings or captures:

Asian carp:

  • Are fast growing
  • Can weigh up to 100 lbs.
  • Reproduce rapidly
  • Have large appetites
  • Eat plankton, which our native fish depend upon for food

Bighead Carp:

  • Bighead CarpCan weigh up to 100lbs and exceed 4 ft in length
  • Have a very large head and toothless mouth with large gape    
  • Adult fish are dark gray with dark blotches mostly on head and across the back                
  • No scales on head
  • No barbels on nose, unlike common carp
  • Eyes set low on the face, below the midline of the body
  • Scaleless ventral keel only extending only partway along belly
  • Gill rakers are comb-like

Silver Carp:

  • Silver Carp:Are smaller than the bighead   
  • Can weigh up to 60 lbs and exceed 3 ft in length              
  • Are light silver in color without dark pigmentation and a white belly    
  • Downward slanting mouth
  • No scales on head
  • No barbels on nose, unlike common carp
  • Eyes set low on the face, below the midline of the body
  • Scaleless ventral keel that extends to the throat
  • Gill rakers that are fused together into a sponge-like matrix

 illustrations by Joe Tomelleri


Silver and Bighead Carp comparison


Difference in the keels of the silver and bighead carp – USGS
Differences in the keels of the silver and bighead carp - USGS


Difference in the gill rakers of bighead and silver carp - USGS

Differences in the gill rakers of Bighead and Silver carp


HOT TOPICS...
 | goWILD |  WV State Parks |  Wonderful WV Magazine |  State of West Virginia Home Page | 
 | Law Enforcement |  Wildlife Diversity | 
Contact Webmaster
2003 West Virginia Division of Natural Resources