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

Mississippi Project

Bracing for the long term: a conceptual framework to facilitate coexistence with invasive carps

August 2023 - July 2025


Participating Agencies


The goal of this study is to develop a conceptual framework that represents our current understanding of bigheaded carp impacts in aquatic systems; identifies deficiencies in knowledge and pinpoint system drivers; and suggests solutions to coexist with possible carp impacts in a model system (i.e., Tennessee and Cumberland rivers – TNCR). Specifically, the conceptual framework highlights potential impacts in TNCR, single out mechanisms, reveal management actions for coping with the impacts, and exposes research needs relevant to refining the framework. We developed the framework in five separate stages: (i) map and review literature regarding bigheaded carp; (ii) evaluate competition probability and the main limiting variables that could influence bigheaded carp establishment in TNCR; (iii) categorize current and potential management strategies applicable to brace bigheaded carp impacts; (iv) organize relevant information into a conceptual framework to represent our understanding of bigheaded carp establishment, impacts, management actions, and gaps in knowledge.