Are invasive carp in Michigan or the Great Lakes?

So far, bighead, silver and black carp have not been found in Michigan waters. There is no evidence that these three carp species have colonized or are present in any numbers in the Great Lakes.

Bighead and silver carp are spreading to lakes, rivers and streams in the Mississippi River and other waterways in the Great Lakes region. They have been moving steadily north but are not yet established in the Great Lakes. Recent reports by the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee indicate that bighead and silver carp are just 10 miles from the three electric barriers in the Chicago Area Waterway System, and only 47 miles from Lake Michigan.

Black carp have recently been discovered at mile 137 of the Illinois River, 110 miles closer to Lake Michigan than previously known.

Grass carp have been found in low numbers in all the Great Lakes, except Lake Superior, since the early 1980s (most often in Lake Erie).  In some Great Lakes states, grass carp have been introduced into waterways for aquatic nuisance weed control since the 1970’s. Though grass carp pose a less significant threat of harm, Michigan is taking a proactive approach with regulations, enforcement, and using a scientific approach to increase the effectiveness of control efforts.

Bighead, silver, grass and black carp are all prohibited species in Michigan. It is illegal to possess or stock these invasive carp in Michigan. However, sterile – or triploid – grass carp may still be used for stocking water bodies in some other states, including Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and New York.