The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Hypophthalmichthys molitrix × nobilis
Hypophthalmichthys molitrix × nobilis
(Silver Carp × Bighead Carp)
Exotic Hybrid

Copyright Info
Hypophthalmichthys molitrix × nobilis

Common name: Silver Carp × Bighead Carp

Injurious: This species is listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as injurious wildlife.

Identification: Burr and Warren (1986).

Size: Maximum size probably similar to parent species, approximately 1 meter.

Native Range: They may hybridize in the wild because of the overlap in native ranges in China. However, most of the hybrids in the rivers there may be due to aquaculture escapes.

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Hypophthalmichthys molitrix × nobilis are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
AL198419861Lower Tallapoosa
IL201320215Copperas-Duck; Des Plaines; Flint-Henderson; South Fork Sangamon; Upper Illinois
IN201620161Silver-Little Kentucky
IA201420162Copperas-Duck; Flint-Henderson
KY198520142Kentucky Lake; Silver-Little Kentucky
MO200420045Lamine; Lower Chariton; Lower Missouri-Crooked; Lower Missouri-Moreau; Lower Osage
TX199319931Rita Blanca
WI202020201La Crosse-Pine

Table last updated 7/15/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: The individual species were intentionally stocked in aquaculture facilities for food and to improve water quality in catfish ponds by reducing phytoplankton.

Status: Reported from Alabama, Kentucky, and Missouri.  In the Missouri River and its tributaries, approximately 3-5% of the catch have been hybrids (D. Chapman, pers. comm.). As long as the the two individual carp species co-exist, there will most likely be hybrids present. 

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this hybrid are most likely similar to those of the individual species. Studies are just underway to make that determination.

Remarks: The hybrid fish can be intermediate or externally indistinguishable from either parent species, F2s or backcrosses probably exist since the hybrids are fertile (D. Chapman, pers. comm.).

References: (click for full references)

Burr, B. M., and M. L. Warren, Jr. 1986. A distributional atlas of Kentucky fishes. Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission Scientific and Technical Series 4. 398 pp.

Chapman, D. 2005. Personal communication. U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia, Missouri.

Other Resources:
Fact Sheet for Hypophthalmichthys molitrix - USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database

Fact Sheet for Hypophthalmichthys nobilis - USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database

Asian Carp Management Plan

Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee

Author: Pam Fuller, and Amy Benson

Revision Date: 5/9/2019

Peer Review Date: 4/26/2006

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Amy Benson, 2024, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix × nobilis: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=550, Revision Date: 5/9/2019, Peer Review Date: 4/26/2006, Access Date: 7/15/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [7/15/2024].

Contact us if you are using data from this site for a publication to make sure the data are being used appropriately and for potential co-authorship if warranted.

For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.