5 Invasive Species in the Mississippi River

Basses, catfishes, and mussels are naturally occurring or native to the region, others are not. This article takes a look at the 5 invasive species in the Mississippi River.


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Zebra Mussels

Zebra Mussels are native to Eastern Europe’s Caspian Sea and were first discovered in the waters of Lake St. Clair in 1988. By 1991, they had made their way into the Mississippi River.

Round Gobies

Native to Central Eurasia, round goby fishes invaded and established themselves in large populations in the Mississippi. They have soft skins and dorsal fins on their small bodies. Round gobies have large eyes that seem to want to pop out.

Rusty Crayfish

The rusty crayfish is native to the Ohio River Basin. They are an aggressive and large species of freshwater crayfish. Rusty crayfish have greenish-gray to reddish-brown colors.

Asian Carp

In the 1980s, the carps escaped from the farms and made their way to the Mississippi. Carps in the Mississippi feed on large amounts of plankton. They are said to eat their weight in plankton. Eating such large amounts reduces what is left for Mississippi’s natural fishes that feed on plankton.

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