Black Carp in North America: a description of range, habitats, time of year, and methods of reported captures.
Black Carp Mylopharyngodon piceus are considered invasive in North America. Since the first wild capture in 2003, collection records have increased, yet information summarizing successful collection methods is lacking. Reported capture methods throughout the Black Carp's native and introduced ranges vary providing minimal aid for determining control and monitoring methods. Here, we describe the current species range and the spatial and temporal variation among captures. The size of fish can affect capture; thus, we report captured fish and gear dimensions and recommend appropriate scientific collection methods. We focus on collection data from 302 Black Carp ranging from 410 to 1,607 mm total length received from 2011 to February 2019. The reported range of Black Carp has expanded in the Cumberland, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee rivers. Captures most frequently occurred in channel (41%), side-channel (24%), and backwater (22%) habitat types, with increased records in May, June, and July. Most records were commercial captures, of which hoop net (51%) and gill net (26%) were most common. Results suggest that standard scientific methods for sampling fish in large rivers and standing water by hoop net and gill net may be used to monitor Black Carp, but a robust study design needs to be applied to determine gear selectivity and to determine if catch rates are density dependent or incidental.