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Invasive Species: Black Carp

Black Carp

(Mylopharyngodon piceus)
*Not detected in Michigan*


Report this species to:

Justin Bopp, DNR Fisheries Division,, 517-420-9110.

If possible, please take one or more photos of the invasive species you are reporting. Also make note of the location, date and time of the observation. This will aid in verification of your report. You may be asked to provide your name and contact information if follow-up is needed.

- Or - use the invasive (Asian) carp reporting form.

- Or - use the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) online reporting tool

- Or - download the MISIN smartphone app and report from your phone -


  • Large bodied-can reach 6 feet in length and 150 pounds.
  • Elongated, laterally compressed body.
  • Blackish-brown scales grading to bluish gray to almost white belly.
  • Pointed head with a flattened anterior (front) portion.
  • Young individuals look very similar to grass carp (another invasive species) but have pharyngeal teeth.

black carp
Illustration by Joseph R. Tomelleri


A threat to the Great Lakes!

Black carp feed on mollusks and snails, consuming up to 20% of their body weight per day. 

If they become established in the Great Lakes, black carp could pose a major threat to Michigan’s native mussel populations, many of which are endangered, threatened, of special concern, or in need of conservation. 

Black carp would compete with mollusk-eating native fish, including freshwater drum, redhorse species and the state threatened lake sturgeon, for limited food resources.

Habitat: Large rivers and lakes but require large rivers for reproduction (water current keeps their eggs from sinking to the bottom).

Diet: Their diet consists primarily of mussels and snails, but also includes freshwater shrimp, crayfish, and insects.

Native Range: China, part of eastern Russia, possibly northern Vietnam.

U.S. Distribution: Reported in Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri.

Potential Means of Introduction: Illinois River or flood connections with Great Lakes waters.

Other Names: Chinese black carp, black amur, Chinese roach, snail carp, black Chinese roach.



How to identify black carp vs. silver carp - Video

Black Carp Invasive Species Alert (printable PDF)


Proposed 2010 Plan for the Prevention, Detection, Assessment, and Management of Asian Carps in Michigan Waters

Status Report for the Proposed 2010 Plan for the Prevention, Detection, Assessment, and Management of Asian Carps in Michigan Waters, April 2012