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Asian Carp Information

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Asian Carp Information and Resources

Many people are interested in Asian carp for a number of reasons. For one, Asian carp present a threat to the ecological system of the Great Lakes or any body of water that this fish inhabits. Secondly, if you have seen a video of how this species of carp flies through the air then you can understand the fascination with this fish. There are plenty of YouTube videos on Asian carp for you to view. One such video that gives you an idea of the interest in Asian carp is located at:

This web page will provide information about Asian carp as well as a list of more resources that you can use to find more information. Many students use this subject to write an essay or present a speech. There is not a lot of information on Asian carp, but there is enough available to write a five-page double-spaced research paper, with little effort. Asian carp can be a fairly easy subject for a speech, especially if you can use visual aids like PowerPoint or use an overhead projector to show a YouTube video about Asian carp. Flying Asian carp is a real attention-grabber no matter who the audience is.


There is a variety of Asian carp. Common, Grass, Black, Bighead, and Silver carp were brought to this country from China in the 1970's. Carp are well known bottom feeders so these carp were very good at cleaning catfish ponds of algae and other unwanted growth. As the story goes, many carp escaped from the ponds in the southern states into the Mississippi River during times of flooding. Carp were able to swim into the many tributaries of the Mississippi River, including the Illinois River. From the Illinois River, carp can just keep on going to the Great Lakes by swimming through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.

The Issue

Bighead and Silver carp are seen as problems for the Great Lakes with Silver carp being the biggest issue. Silver carp have a desire to jump out of the water and fly through the air at the sound of a boat's motor. As you can imagine, when a 40 to 100 lb fish hits a human, there can be some damages. However, flying fish is not the greatest concern. The main concern is that these big fish will eat food that other species require to live. Basically, carp will create all kinds of risks for the food chain. These are large fish weighing up to 100 pounds and can grow up to four feet long. Their consumption of plankton can starve off many other fish, including popular game fish which produces a large threat to a multi-billion dollar fishing industry.


The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal is the only connection between the Mississippi River system and the Great Lakes. The Army Corp of Engineers has installed an underwater electrical barrier miles downstream. A well-known fact, or maybe not so well-known, is that fish do not like electrical shock treatment, but then I suppose no one does. The electrical pulse is suppose to repel carp. There is evidence that the barrier worked pretty well, but it is not perfect. There is some recent evidence that some carp have snuck through the barrier. There were occasions when the barrier lost power or was shut down temporarily for maintenance.

Another idea being considered is to present a wall of bubbles and acoustics to help prevent the progression of carp. The removal of oxygen or the addition of nitrogen to the water would kill carp and other living entities within the canal. This would act as another type of barrier.

As good as electrical, bubble, and sound barriers may sound, they are not permanent or perfect solutions. The most controversial, but maybe more perfect solution, is to close the locks. This creates the complete separation that so many experts call for. This may prevent carp from moving from the Mississippi River to the Great Lakes, but it also stops shipping. It would create hardship for the business and the shipping industry trying to reroute cargo by using trucks or trains instead of ships.

There are a number of agencies that continue to work on solving the Asian Carp problem. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The International Joint Commission, The Great Lakes Fishery Commission, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, The State of Illinois, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working together to install and maintain a permanent electric barrier and find some type of permanent solution between the carp and Lake Michigan. The White House and Congress have entered the picture, too. In December, 2010, President Obama signed into law a bill that will help in the fight against Asian carp. The Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act will add the Asian carp to a list of injurious species that are prohibited from being imported or shipped in the United States under the Lacey Act.


List of Resources

The following sources are listed according to The MLA Handbook 2016 Eighth Edition. Although some journal, magazine, and newspaper articles can be found for free on the Web, we will list most of the sources (NOT ALL) as if they were in print. You can always change the citation based on examples that are available on our website.


Magazines and Journal Articles

Chick, John H., and Mark A. Pegg. "Invasive Carp in the Mississippi River Basin." Science, vol. 292, no. .5525, 2001, pp. 2250-2251.

Information about Black Carp is presented in this one-page journal article. There is not a lot here, but some of the information can help.


Frazier, Ian. "Fish Out of Water (Asian Carp Invasion)." The New Yorker, 25 Oct. 2010, pp. 66-73. .

There are about ten pages covering Asian Carp in the Chicago area. Fishermen and the locals tell their stories on encounters with Asian Carp.

Stokstad, Erik. "Biologists Rush to Protect Lakes from Onslaught of Carp." Science, vol. 327, no. 5968, 2010: p. 932.

This February 19, 2010 issue of Science journal packs a lot of information on just one page. A brief history of the Asian carps' introduction to the U.S., the damage that these fish can do, and possible solutions are included in this very informative article. This article can be found online, for FREE, at

Stokstad. Erik. "Can Well-Timed Jolt Keep Out Unwanted Exotic Fish?" Science, vol. 301, no. 5630, 2003, pp. 157, 159.

This 2003 journal article gives information about the electric field set up at the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.

Walsh, Bryan. "Lake Invaders" Time, 23 Aug. 2010, pp. 34-37.

This article can be found online, for FREE, at,9171,2010202,00.html.


Online Resources/Websites

“Asian Carp Threat to the Great Lakes” is a page on the National Wildlife Federation website:

Asian Carp: the War Isn’t Over is an article on the Great Lakes Fishery Commission website:

USA Today Newspaper story “Despite Barriers, Asian Carp Still a Threat to Great Lakes” is located free online at:

PBS Newshour article: “Keeping Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes will Cost Billions and Take Decades.”

Online Video

There are some very good YouTube videos about Asian carp. These videos are great if you are giving a speech and have the equipment to display the YouTube video on the screen. Without a doubt, Asian carp IS a serious issue. However, the following video showing carp jumping out of the water can be HILARIOUS. If you show a minute or two, it can help make the time during the speech go by much quicker. Here is just one link to a TV segment about Asian carp on ABC's Nightline show:


How to Cite this Web Page in MLA (Modern Language Association) 8th edition. (2016 latest edition)

"Asian Carp Information." The College and Career  Library, 20 Nov. 2016, Date that you accessed the web page such as 27 Nov. 2016.

Double-space the lines if you have more than one line. Use hanging indentation with the second line (if needed) and is indented about 7 or 10 spaces.  The title of the web page is "Asian Carp Information".  There is no official author so place the title first and in quotes as seen above. The official website is called The College and Career Library and is placed in ITALICS.   11 July 2012 is when the web page was created, BUT was updated November 20, 2016. Next, type the URL (link). This is new with the MLA 2016 edition. After the URL, type the date that you accessed the web page such as: Accessed 27 Nov. 2016.

"Asian Carp Information." The College and Career  Library,



20 Nov. 2016,

Accessed  27 Nov. 2016.

This web page was created July 11, 2012. Updated November 20, 2016.

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