Bighead Carp

Hypophthalmichthys nobilis

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They have a stout body, large head, and small downward-facing eyes (often below the jaw angle). They have a smooth keel between the anal and pelvic fins that does not extend anterior of the base of the pelvic fins. They can reach reach weights up to 100 pounds and can grow to 4 feet in length.

Location in Nebraska

They are widely spread found in 23 states including Nebraska.

Pathway of Introduction and Spread

They are native to China and were brought to the United States in the early 1970s, to control plankton in aquaculture. They were spread through escapes from fish farms.


They are large, aggressive fish that are capable of out-competing native fish for resources. They rapidly reproduce, laying up to thousands of eggs at a time. They are opportunistic feeders that consume high quantities of zoo plankton and phytoplankton.

Watch Presentation on Invasive Carp Managment Efforts here.

Photo Credits: 

Khoo, Wee Lee
Germano Schurr