Catching carp: a review of bigheaded carp capture strategies


We conducted a review to summarize the settings, configurations, and capture data for an array of fisheries gear types used to capture invasive bigheaded carps (Hypophthalmichthys spp.) in North America. The goal of this paper was to synthesize patterns of bigheaded carp catch data across various gear types and capture methods. Data consisted of bigheaded carps captured among a variety of riverine habitats where their populations are well-established (e.g., lower pools of the Illinois River), as well as near the leading edge of their invasion front (e.g., Upper Mississippi, Upper Illinois, Upper Missouri, Red River). Our synthesis provides a summary of (1) capture gears and their settings/configurations, (2) catches (fish size, number captured, precision of estimates), and (3) assessment of gears that were robust (i.e., high precision, low cost, high catch, sample many habitat types) in riverine environments and impoundments. Across the 26 gear types used to target bigheaded carps, catch rates of silver carp were consistently higher than bighead carp, which may result from a combination of sampling inefficiencies, sampling biases, and spatial dynamics of their invasions. Gear performance matrices combining catch rate, precision, and labor cost indicated that DC electrofishing and herding fish into gill nets and/or trammel nets were the top-ranked capture methods. This review provides guidance for the development of detection, monitoring, and control programs that target bigheaded carp species, as well as identifies future research to fill critical data gaps.


© Lederman et al. cc-by


catch rate, fisheries science, gear precision, invasive species


Lederman, N.J., Collins, S.F., Hammen, J.J., & Parkos, J.J.. 2024. Catching carp: a review of bigheaded carp capture strategies. Management of Biological Invasions, 15(1).