Photo courtesy of Kate GardinePhoto courtesy of Kate GardineClose up of a Bighead:  Photo courtesy of Kate Gardiner


Bighead Carp: A Fish to Feast On


Hypophthalmichthys nobilis, more commonly known as Bighead carp can be found all across the world.  Bighead carp are commonly found in parts of Asia, Europe, and Northern America.  These organisms.  You do not have to be a fishing enthusiast or a scientist to learn about these interesting fish.  In fact Bighead carp have become a very popular topic for discussion around the world the last few years.

Silver Carp Face - Photo courtesy of T. Lawrence, GLFCWhat's All the Splashing About?
Bighead carp belong in numerous categories.  Not only can you enjoy fishing these creatures recreationally, but you may also eat them.  Many use them for uses such as cleaning reservoirs and ponds as well.  Bighead carp can be found to be trouble as well, especially when they are introduced into foreign habitats.  In the United States, problems have arose as the species has taken over rivers and lakes the past few years.  This is why Bighead carp can vary in opinion across the world.
More than One Culprit

Besides Hypophthalmichthys nobilis there are a few other species of Asian carp that can be found throughout the world.  Species include the commonly called Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), the Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), and the Black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus) just to name a couple. These species can be easily mistaken for one another, but there are ways to distinguish between Hypophthalmichthys nobilis from others.

Continue on to Classification to find out how to identify the Bighead carp from other fish.

Example of a Bighead carp and Silver carp:  Can you tell the difference between the two?

 A U.S. Geological Survey holding a Bighead carp - Photo courtesy of USGS                   Photo courtesy of T. Lawrence, GLFC
If you want to compare Silver carp to Bighead carp click here to find out!

Photo courtesy of Kate Gardiner



There is plenty more to find out about Hypophthalmichthys nobilis.  Feel free to explore through the rest of the website to learn more!

                 Explore here!



To find out more about other organisms besides Bighead carp go to
Or go to UW-La Crosse to find out more about the University where these websites came from!