9 out of 10 fish in the Illinois and Mississippi rivers are Asian carp
The fresh waterways of the United States and parts of Canada have been taken over by Asian carp for years. Originally brought to the United States for aquaculture purposes, the Asian carp found their way into many of the main waterways, including the Mississippi River system. As a result, the Asian carp have spread to numerous other rivers and streams and now potentially threaten the Great Lakes.
The four main species of the Asian carp disrupting our waterways are grass, black, bighead, and silver. Each of these species are considered invasive and cause tremendous damage to the natural ecosystems in which they are found. The Asian carp dominate their surrounding habitat, taking food and breeding ground away from native fish.
Asian carp eat up to one third of their body weight each day. This causes a devastating impact on the abundance of native aquatic plants, plankton, fish, mussels, snails, and other invertebrates. There has even been a noticeable reduction in the size of native fish in areas where Asian carp are found. Asian carp are also a hazard to boaters, skiers, and boating equipment, as the fish jump out of the water when activity is sensed.