It is an invasive species of fish called the black carp, and it was first discovered in Kentucky's waters quite recently in 2019.
The black carp is also called the "black Chinese roach" because it is native to the lakes and rivers of East Asia. The black carp was widely used in Chinese medicine and was considered to be an expensive food because it was scarce.
The black carp diet is mostly snails, mussels, and clams.
The teeth of the black carp is large and smooth and strong enough to crush the shells of mollusks. It has human-like molars.
The black carp was first introduced into the U.S. in the 1970s from a shipment arriving from Asia. It was later introduced into retention ponds and aquaculture facilities to manage the population of snails.
However, due to flooding in the South, the carp ended up in the waters of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.
Black carps are considered to be a serious threat to mollusks in the U.S. Some of these mollusks are critically endangered. The black carp may also carry parasites and diseases which can be transmitted to other native species. Efforts are being made to control the behavior of black carp. Some of these methods range from poisoning to encouraging people to catch and eat them as food.
It was a surprise when a juvenile black carp was found in the waters of the Ohio River in Kentucky for the first time in 2019. The finding of a juvenile black carp indicated that the black carp was potentially breeding and thriving in Kentucky's waterways. This would be a threat not just to Kentucky but to other states as well.
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