Along with our partners, we at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been working to stop the spread of invasive carp. On August 9, 2022, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hosted a virtual forum on invasive carp harvest and product use. This virtual event was convened in response to direction provided by Congress in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022. Bighead, silver, black and grass carp – collectively referred to as ‘invasive carp’ – have been spreading in waterways across the United States and causing environmental damage since their introduction in the 1970s for use in aquaculture facilities and retention ponds.
We play a lead role in coordinating with state resource agencies, and other partners, to manage invasive carp. This involves making use of a suite of science-based tools and strategies that are aimed to prevent their spread, as well as control existing populations. Commercial harvest, as well as the development of products from harvested fish, are also among these tools and were the focus of discussion at the forum.
The virtual forum was attended by 116 participants, with representation from federal, state and provincial agencies, academia, industry and other stakeholders.
The forum agenda included:
- Opening remarks – Fish and Aquatic Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Illinois Department of Natural Resources
- Presentation – Marketing and rebranding effort for invasive carp, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
- Presentations about the use of commercial harvest for invasive carp control from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
- A facilitated discussion focused on identifying opportunities and challenges for increasing the use of harvested invasive carp for product use