Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program:
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources


Development of a Mississippi River Basin Invasive Carp Population Assessment Team

October 2021 - December 2021


Participating Agencies

Bighead (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), black (Mylopharyngodon piceus), grass (Ctenopharyngodon idella), and silver carp (H. molitrix), collectively referred to as invasive carp, have caused a wide range of negative ecological, economic, and social impacts since their introduction to the United States and subsequent escapement and spread. As a result, the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force charged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to develop a national management and control plan. With passage of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA), Congress charged the Service with leading a multi-agency effort to slow the spread of invasive carp in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio river basins by carrying out activities designed to slow, and eventually eliminate, the threat posed by invasive carp. In addition, the Service is mandated by Congress to coordinate multi-agency efforts to manage and control invasive carp nationally, to report the effectiveness of these cooperative efforts, and to document progress implementing the National Plan and controlling the spread of invasive carp. In FY20, Congress expanded invasive carp control activities throughout the Mississippi River and its sub-basins, including the Lower Mississippi River, Arkansas-Red-White, Missouri River, Tennessee-Cumberland, Ohio River, and Upper Mississippi River sub-basins. To begin addressing this need, the Service formed an Ad Hoc Team with representatives from each sub-basin partnership and select federal agencies (see Appendix 1) to develop initial goals and objectives for an invasive carp population assessment and to identify an organizational structure, roles, responsibilities, and expectations that provide the necessary coordination and communication to develop a comprehensive basin wide approach for population assessment. This approach will be shared with the sub-basin partnerships and respective state management authorities and revised as needed based on input received.