Fish Identification Guide Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Bighead Carp
Hypophthalmichthyes nobilis
Illustrations by Joe Tomelleri
Description: Heavy-bodied fish with large head, upturned mouth, small scales, eyes forward in lower portion of head (usually turned downward), and a keel on belly from anus to bases of pelvic fins. Native of China that was introduced to selected Arkansas waters and escaped. Filter feeder - consumes plankton (microscopic plants and animals) and suspended detritus (dead plant material). Competes with native planktivores (e.g. paddlefish, buffalo, and young of many other native species).
Note: This fish species can be very harmful for the state's aquatic resources. If you are confident that you captured or observed this fish, contact the nearest NGPC Fisheries personnel or the Commission's Private Waters Specialist at (402) 471-5435 and report where it was found (name of the lake, stream, river, sandpit, etc.), a legal description for the location (section, township, range) and date. Also include your name and phone number for a followup investigation.
Family: Minnow (Large)
Type: Non-Game Fish
Range: Missouri River, lower reaches of most tributary streams, and in plunge pools below dams of many southeast Nebraska reservoirs.


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