Underwater Life – Carp

As I was researching the internet about Carp fish, I wound up on Merriam Webster Dictionary site to see how it defined Carp. Would you like to know…

Carp: To complain in an annoying way

It then gave me the option to go to the Merriam Webster Learner’s Dictionary, there I finally found a definition for Carp fish.

Carp: a type of large fish that lives in rivers and lakes and is often used for food

Then I wound up on the Merriam Websters Student Dictionary and found a definition.

Carp: :a large Asian freshwater fish often raised for food and widely introduced into U.S. waters; also : any of various related or similar fishes

Okay, on to learning about what Carp really are…

Carp (Cyprinus Carpio)

  • Hardy greenish brown fish of the family Cyprinidae
  • Unattractive, slimy fish

  • It is native to Asia but has been introduced into Europe, North America and beyond.
  • A large-scaled fish with two barbels on each side of its upper jaw
  • The carp lives alone or in small schools in quiet, weedy, mud-bottomed ponds, lakes, and rivers.
  • It is omnivorous and in rooting about for food it often roils the water, increasing turbidity and adversely affecting many plants and animals
  • As a result, it is often considered undesirable, and much effort may be devoted to its extermination.
  • In the winter the carp becomes torpid, retires to the bottom and stops feeding.
  • It usually spawns in spring, when the female desposits numerous eggs on plants usually in shallow water.
  • The eggs hatch 4-8 days later
  • They grow rapidly, attain sexual maturity about their third year, and in captivity may live more than 40 years
  • Length & Weight
  • Average length 14 inches but may grow more than 39 inches
  • Average weight is 49 pounds.
  • All tackle IGFA record is almost 76 pounds, but much larger fish have been landed including:
  • A reported 91 pound caught in France
  • Official record for a fly-caught fish is 42 pounds from Italy
  • US records are 29 pounds 8 ounces from Town Lake in Austin Texas
  • Often raised for food because it is possible to produce large amounts of fish per acre.
  • Considered to be an invasive fish.
  • Carp can live for decades and achieve monstrous proportions
  • They feed rapaciously on plankton, invertebrates and detritus and thus often upset aquatic food webs in areas where they are produced.
  • Feed almost exclusively below the surface
  • Asian Carp were introduced into North America during the 1960’s and 70’s to control the growth of noxious aquatic plants, snails, and other pest organisms in ponds, fish farms and small lakes.
  • Although no definitive evidence of when carp first came to the U.S. but it was most likely in the mid 1800’s when fish were imported from Germany or France
  • Every state but Alaska now has carp populations, with the heaviest concentrations in the Great Lakes Basin and large impoundments throughout the South and West.
  • Rarely inhabit clear mountain streams – Choosing instead to live in turbid or brackish waters
  • “Freshwater Bonefish” nickname given because they fight a line when being fished with such power and tenacity to test both tackle and an angler’s resolve


Encyclopedia Britannica

Merriam Webster

Merriam Webster Learner’s Dictionary

Merriam Webster Word Central

Orvis News


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