A food web modeling assessment of Asian Carp impacts in the Middle and Upper Mississippi River, USA


The invasion of non-native fishes has caused a great detriment to many of our native fishes. Since the introduction of invasive carps, such as Silver, Bighead, Common and Grass Carp, managers and researcher have been struggling to remove these species while also hypothesizing the detriment of further invasion. This study developed a food web model of four locations on the Mississippi River and used those models to assess the impacts of two scenarios: carp removal and carp invasion. In the Middle Mississippi River where these invasive carps are already present, the models found that it would take a sustained exploitation of up to 30% of initial biomass over an extended period to remove Grass Carp and up to 90% removal of initial biomass to remove Silver and Bighead Carp. In the locations where Silver, Bighead, and Grass Carp are not yet established (i.e., Pools 4,8, and 13) the invasion of these species could cause declines from 10 to 30% in initial biomass of native fishes as well as already established nonnative invasive species.

Document Type





Asian Carp, Ecopath with Ecosim, Invasion, Mississippi River, Removal

Publication Date


Journal Title

Food Webs