Common Carp

Cyprinus carpio

Common Carp are large fish, growing up to 30 inches long, and sixty pounds. They have a "heavy" body with a dark, olive-colored back and lighter sides. A carp's belly is yellowish.

Common Carp have two barbels ("whiskers") on their upper lip. They also have a large dorsal (back) fin.

Carp live in streams, lakes, ponds, and rivers, wherever there is a lot of aquatic plants.

Germano Schuur

Common Carp are not native to our area; they were introduced into America from Asia as a food source.

Unfortunately, carp hurt our native fish species by uprooting plants, disturbing the bottom, and eating fish eggs.

Besides fish eggs, carp eat algae, other water plants, insects, earthworms, aquatic worms, snails, mussels, crayfish, and rotifers. They also eat old dead plant parts from the bottom.

Common Carp swim along the bottom, sucking up mud and food items. They spit out the stuff they don't eat.

Carp are most active in early morning and evenings.

Common Carp spawn (breed) in weedy areas.

Relationships in Nature:

PREY/FOOD
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Green Algae

Great Blue Heron

Yellow Pond Lily

Bluegill EC

Common Duckweed

Largemouth Bass

Green Algae

Yellow Perch EC

Pickerelweed

Channel Catfish

Long-leaf Pondweed

Largemouth Bass EC

Stagnant Pond Snail

Human

Common Reed

Creek Chub EC

Green Darner

Belted Kingfisher

Pickerelweed

Tesselated Darter EC

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Common Snapping Turtle

Common Duckweed

Black Crappie EC

Crayfish

Osprey

Lizard's Tail

Golden Shiner EC

Crane Fly

Bald Eagle

Greater Bladderwort

Eastern Dobsonfly

Eastern Mosquitofish

Wild Rice

Long-leaf Pondweed

Ring-billed Gull

Bluegill

American Eel

Water Flea

Eastern Lamp Mussel

Earthworm

Large Diving Beetle

Ebony Jewelwing

Largemouth Bass

Wild Rice

Relationship to Humans:

Many people eat carp, and they are becoming more popular as food. Carp cause problems with other fish species by their "rooting" behavior, since they destroy plant cover and bury fish nests with mud and silt.

People sometimes put carp in ponds on purpose to control plants that spread too quickly, including algae.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Chordate
CLASS
Bony Fish
ORDER
Cypriniformes
FAMILY
Cyprinidae
GENUS
Cyprinus
SPECIES
Cyprinus carpio

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