Invasive Carp Harvest Incentive Program
Program enrollment begins January 24, 2024 and will remain open until further notice.
To apply, submit a completed and notarized Application for Enrollment form and a W-9 form to the AGFC address provided on the enrollment form. Applicants will be considered enrolled once they receive an approved copy of their application form.
Invasive carp native to Southeast Asia, specifically silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), and black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus), were introduced into the U.S. in the 1960s, 70s and 80s to help control nuisance algae, aquatic plants and snails. Unfortunately, escape from aquaculture facilities and stocked waters during floods, and through intentional releases, resulted in their rapid spread throughout the Mississippi River Basin. Invasive carp continue to increase their range and abundance in many of our state’s major river systems, and threaten to destabilize ecosystems by competing with native aquatic species for food and disturbing critical habitats. Additionally, silver carp can create a hazard to boaters due to their jumping behavior when startled.
The Invasive Carp Harvest Incentive Program aims to reduce the abundance and distribution of invasive carp from Arkansas waters and prevent further range expansion into uninvaded systems. AGFC is partnering with and supporting commercial anglers and businesses to increase commercial harvest and market use of invasive carp. This program offers participants a $0.18 per pound subsidy for invasive carp harvested and sold to offset low market prices. It also offers access to start-up fishing supplies (gill net webbing and rope) to offset fishing gear costs associated with targeting invasive carp. Additionally, AGFC will work with businesses to identify and address factors limiting the acquisition of invasive carp from commercial anglers to increase market use.
Program Funding Source:
This program is made possible through federal grants administered through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Invasive Carp Management and Control Program.
Program Contact Information:
- For questions about enrolling in the program, participant bill of sale payments, or acquiring bill of sale forms for invasive carp buyers please call: (501) 382-9071.
- To report harvest of tagged Bighead and Silver Carp from the Red River or other waters in the state, or to request business support for acquiring invasive carp harvested by commercial fishers, please contact: Aquatic Nuisance Species Program Coordinator Matt Horton at (501) 747-9012 or Matthew.Horton@agfc.ar.gov.
Pictures of Invasive Carp (Courtesy of the Missouri Department of Conservation)