Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) Profile

Silver carp
(Last Updated On: April 13, 2021)

Silver carp, scientific name, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix is a species of freshwater cyprinid fish, with Asian varieties of Asian carp native to China and eastern Siberia.

Silver Carp profile

Although a threat to the natural habitat, Silver carp has long been cultivated in China.

By weight, more silver carp are produced around the world than any species of fish other than grass carp. Silver carp are usually cultivated in polyculture with other Asian carp or sometimes with cattails or other fish species.

The species was introduced or dispersed by connected waterways in at least 5 countries of the world.

The reason for the import was generally for aquaculture, but there was also the occasion of wild fish farming and water quality control. In some places, the species is considered an invasive species.

The Silver Carp reaches an average length of 60-100 cm (24-39 in) with a maximum length of 140 cm (55 in) and a weight of 50 kg (110 lb).


Silver Carp has a filter feeder and a specialized feeding device capable of filtering particles less than 4 mm. Gill racers mix in a filter like a sponge and an epibranial organ stimulates mucus to help trap small particles.

A strong buccal pump forces water through this filter. Like all hypothalamithi species, Silver Carp has no stomach; They are thought to feed less regularly, mainly in phytoplankton.

They swallow zooplankton and detritus. In the places where these plankton feeding species are introduced, they are thought to compete with native planktivar fish, including paddlefish (Polydon spathula), gizzard sheds (Dorosoma sepidanum), and almost all species of young fish in North America.

As they feed on plankton, they are sometimes used successfully to control water quality, especially in controlling harmful blue-green algae (cyanobacteria).

The blue-green algae of some species, especially the often poisonous microcytes, can accumulate nutrients in the process by disappearing without silver carp. So, in some cases, the blue-green algae flowers are further fueled by the silver carp.

Microsystems have been shown to produce more toxins in the presence of silver carp. These carp, which are a natural defense of their toxins, can sometimes be vulnerable to eating enough algal toxins in their system.

Ecology and Conservation

In the natural range, silver carp flows upward for spanning; The eggs and larvae then flow into the river bed and hatch in the floodplain.

Larvae and young females feed on zooplankton, switching to phytoplankton to reach a certain size. The species is somewhat sensitive to low oxygen conditions

Silver carp

The species is currently classified as a threat to the main range, as its habitat and reproductive behavior are affected by dam construction, pollution, and over-fishing.

The population decline seems to have been particularly significant in the Chinese parts of its range.


Silver carp filter feeders, so generally have difficulty catching hooks and line gear. Special methods have been developed for these fish, the most important of which is the “suspension method”, usually a large dough ball that slowly disintegrates, surrounded by a small hook nest embedded around the top.

The entire apparatus is suspended under the big bobber. The fish eventually feeds on the small particles released from the dough ball, with the intention of breaking up more small particles that can be filtered out of the water and eventually leaping over the tiny hook.

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