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Carp According to the Wikipedia
The carp is a large group of fish originally found in Central
Europe and Asia. Various carp species were originally
domesticated in East Asia, where they were used as food fish.
The ability of carp to survive and adapt to many climates and
water conditions allowed the domesticated species to be
propagated to many new locations including Japan. Natural color
mutations of these carp would have occurred across all
populations. Carp were first bred for color mutations in China
more than a thousand years ago, where selective breeding of the
Prussian carp (Carassius gibelio) led to the development of the
carp are typically slimmer than domesticated forms, with body
length about four times body height (range, 3.2-4.8 times). Both
European and Asian subspecies have been domesticated.
Common carp can grow to a maximum length of 120 cm, a maximum
weight of over 40 g, and an oldest recorded age of at least 65
As a Food:
Common carp are extremely popular with anglers in many parts of
Europe, and their popularity as quarry is slowly increasing
among anglers in the United States (though destroyed as pests in
many areas), and southern Canada. Carp are also popular with
spear, bow, and fly fishermen. Carp is also eaten in many parts
of the world both when caught from the wild and raised in
aquaculture. In Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia,
Hungary, Croatia and Poland, carp is a traditional part of a
Christmas Eve dinner. Carp are mixed with other common fish to
make gefilte fish, popular in Jewish cuisine.
The Romans farmed carp and this pond culture continued through
the monasteries of Europe and to this day. In China and soon
after in Japan carp farming took place as early as the Yayoi
Period 300 B.C.
Introduction to North America:
Common carp were brought to the United States in 1831. In the
late 1800s they were distributed widely throughout the country
by the government as a foodfish. However, common carp are no
longer prized as a foodfish in the United States. As in
Australia, their introduction has been shown to have negative
environmental consequences and they are usually considered to be
invasive species. Millions of dollars are spent annually by
natural resource agencies to control common carp populations in
the United States.
Due to their fecundity and their feeding habit of grubbing
through bottom sediments for food they are notorious for
altering their environment. In feeding, they may destroy, uproot
and disturb submerged vegetation causing serious damage to
native duck and fish populations.
Common carp are omnivorous. They can eat a vegetarian diet of
water plants, but prefer to scavenge the bottom for insects,
crustaceans (including zooplankton), and benthic worms. Carp
inhabiting water where Zebra Muscles are present are known to
eat muscles as well.
Although they are very tolerant of most conditions, common carp
prefer large bodies of slow or standing water and soft,
vegetative sediments. A schooling fish, they prefer to be in
groups of 5 or more. They naturally live in a temperate climate
in fresh or slightly brackish water with a pH of 6.5 - 9.0 and
salinity up to about 5‰,
Koi were developed from common carp in ancient China in Jin
Dynasty and was later transferred to Korea and Japan, and are
still popular there because they are a symbol of love and
friendship. A variety of colors and color patterns have since
been developed; common colors include white, black, red, yellow,
blue, and cream. The most popular category of Carp are known as
koi in Japan.
Of the various domesticated carp species, the common carp (Cyprinus
carpio) is one of he more commonly used in aquaculture. Common
carp were first introduced into Japan y way of China between 400
to 600 years ago. Common carp were first bred for color in Japan
Head (Asian) Carp
US Fish and Wildlife Service / 2005
Bighead carp are restricted in many states because of their
tolerance to survive in many habitat types and their ability to
decrease phytoplankton (algae) and zooplankton populations,
thereby competing with native fish. The concern is that the
bighead carp will reach the Great Lakes where recreational and
commercial fish feed on zooplankton at some stage in their life
history. The species is a common food fish around the world, and
grows quite large, longer than 1 meter.
Life History: Bighead carp can grow to lengths more than 1 meter
and can grow to weigh as much as 40 kilograms.
Means and Time of Introduction: Bighead carp were first
introduced in the United States in Arkansas in 1972 for the
purpose of controlling algae in ponds. During flooding in 1994
bighead carp escaped from aquaculture farms and spread
throughout the Mississippi basin including to the north. It is
likely that bighead carp spread to the Mississippi, Missouri,
Illinois, and Ohio Rivers. Media reports indicate that the
introduction of bighead carp to the Great Lakes area could be
next due to fish migration and/or the cultural practice where
people release live carp into waterways.
Origin: Bighead carp are originally from China, and can be found
in large populations in many rivers there, including the Yangtze
and Han Rivers.
North American Distribution: Today bighead carp are reproducing
in populations along the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio Rivers.
Specimens have been reported in states as far reaching as
California, Minnesota, and Florida.
Habitat: Bighead carp can occasionally tolerate salinities in
the range of 6-12 parts per thousand. The preferred temperature
for reproduction is about 25ºC, the maximum temperature in which
bighead carp can survive is 38 ºC (USGS 2005). Bighead carp can
survive temperatures down to nearly freezing, on the order of
1ºC. (ISSG 2005). Typically found in large rivers, bighead carp
can also be found in smaller rivers and streams, as well as
lakes and ponds (USGS 2005). Bighead carp are known to only
spawn in moving water (ISSG 2005).
Ecological Impacts: Bighead carp were introduced because of
their ability to decrease phytoplankton (algae) density in ponds
although zooplankton are their preferred food.
Economic Consideration: As of 1995, the bighead carp was ranked
fourth in worldwide production with a total of 2.8 billion
pounds produced in that year. The species is commonly seen in
live food fish markets in the northeast.