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Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

This species is omnivorous, feeding on aquatic crustaceans, insects, worms, aquatic plants, algae and seeds (2). Its feeding technique, of grubbing around in the sediment and straining food from the mud, has caused problems in areas where the carp has been introduced. As well as uprooting submerged vegetation, it also increases the cloudiness of the water, which can have detrimental effects on native wildlife (2) (6). In temperate waters, spawning take place during the summer in patches of weeds. A number of males pursue spawning females in the race to fertilise the eggs as they are shed into the water. The sticky yellowish coloured eggs attach to vegetation, and are not guarded by the parents (2). A typical female can lay over a million eggs in one breeding season (2). By gulping air at the surface, the carp is able to tolerate periods when oxygen levels in the water fall (2). In winter, individuals go into deeper waters which tends to be somewhat warmer than shallow water (2).
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Carp was imported by man from Asia and Eastern Europe to Western Europe at the beginning of the Christian Era. It was also intentionally released in North America in 1877, where it has now become a plague. Carp eat from the bottom. Using their barbels, they feel the bottom for such animals as worms, mollusks and crustaceans. They will also eat plant material. When in captivity, they can reach a ripe age of several dozen years.
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Description

The carp that occurs in Britain today is the most commercially important freshwater fish kept in ponds, and has been selectively bred for centuries. This breeding has led to two main differences between 'domesticated' carp and wild carp (which do not occur in Britain); domestic carp have a much faster growth rate and a relatively short body with a high back and deep belly (4). The body is greyish to bronze in colour (2) and two fleshy barbels project downwards at either side of the mouth (4). The number of scales varies greatly, with some individuals (known as leather carp) completely lacking scales (4). The usual form found in Britain is called the king carp, another form, the mirror carp has a single row of large scales along the sides (5).
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Comprehensive Description

Cyprinus carpio ZBK Linnaeus, 1758

Inland water: 28300-825 (1 spc.), 26.08.1986 , Iznik Lake , N. Meriç ; 28300-824 (1 spc.), 17.09.1974 , Apolyont Lake , Bursa , N. Meriç .

  • Nurettin Meriç, Lütfiye Eryilmaz, Müfit Özulug (2007): A catalogue of the fishes held in the Istanbul University, Science Faculty, Hydrobiology Museum. Zootaxa 1472, 29-54: 35-35, URL:http://www.zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:428F3980-C1B8-45FF-812E-0F4847AF6786
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Biology

Adults inhabit warm, deep, slow-flowing and still waters such as lowland rivers and large, well vegetated lakes (Ref. 59043). Hardy and tolerant of a wide variety of conditions but generally favor large water bodies with slow flowing or standing water and soft bottom sediments. Thrive in large turbid rivers (Ref. 1998). Most active at dusk and dawn. Both adults and juveniles feed on a variety of benthic organisms and plant material. Spawns along shores or in backwaters. Adults often undertake considerable spawning migration to suitable backwaters and flooded meadows. Larvae survive only in very warm water among shallow submerged vegetation. River regulation and hybridization with domesticated stocks, East Asian congeners and their hybrids have caused continuous decline of wild populations (Ref. 59043). Utilized fresh and frozen (Ref. 9987). Aquarium keeping: in groups of 5 or more individuals; minimum aquarium size >200 cm; not recommended for home aquariums (Ref. 51539).
  • Kottelat, M. and J. Freyhof 2007 Handbook of European freshwater fishes. Publications Kottelat, Cornol, Switzerland. 646 p. (Ref. 59043)
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Distribution

Common carp are native to Europe but have been widely introduced and are now found worldwide except for the poles and northern Asia.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Introduced ); palearctic (Native ); oriental (Introduced ); ethiopian (Introduced ); neotropical (Introduced ); australian (Introduced )

  • Nelson, J. 1984. Fishes of the World. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2nd ed..
  • Froese, R., D. Pauly. 2002. "Fishbase: Species summary for Cyprinus carpio" (On-line). Accessed 2 April 2002 at http://www.fishbase.org.
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Range Description

Black, Caspian and Aral Sea basins. Introduced throughout the world. Cultivated in large quantities for human food and stocked for sport fishing.

In Europe, C. carpio has apparently been domesticated since the Middle Ages and cultivated stocks are assumed to be derived from the wild form of the Danube. Wild stocks occur naturally only in rivers draining to the Black, Caspian and Aral Seas. C. carpio is widely cultivated worldwide, but in fact many cultivated stocks (and most of the Asian ones) belong to several other East Asian species. One of them, C. rubrofuscus (often erroneously referred to as C. carpio haematopterus) is cultivated in several eastern European countries and has been introduced to Russia and Ukraine. It is not known whether it has become established there. In western Europe, Japanese ornamental varieties (kois) possibly derived from C. rubrofuscus or of hybrid origin occasionally escape from ponds. Wild C. rubrofuscus are distinguished from wild C. carpio by having 29-33 + 2-3 lateral line scales (vs. 33-37 + 2-3), 18-22½ branched dorsal rays (vs. 17-20½), body silvery with red pelvic, anal and lower caudal lobe (vs. grey to bronze).
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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: Native to temperate Eurasia; has been domesticated and selectively bred for human food for several centuries in Asia and Europe. The first stockings of carp in the United States occurred around 1872 and for the next 25 years the fish were stocked throughout the United States (Lachner et al. 1970, Phillips et al. 1982). At first, carp were a popular game and food fish, but by the turn of the century, the fish had become so well established and abundant in many waterways that stocking programs were discontinued. Carp are now found in every state except Hawaii and Alaska, in five Canadian provinces, and on every continent except Antarctica (Scott and Crossman 1973, Jester 1974, Edwards and Twomey 1982).

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Geographic Range

Common carp can be found within each of the biogeographic regions, but are only native to Europe in the Palearctic region. Common carp have been widely introduced and are found worldwide except for the poles and northern Asia.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Introduced ); palearctic (Native ); oriental (Introduced ); ethiopian (Introduced ); neotropical (Introduced ); australian (Introduced )

  • Nelson, J. 1984. Fishes of the World. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2nd ed..
  • Froese, R., D. Pauly. 2002. "Fishbase: Species summary for Cyprinus carpio" (On-line). Accessed 2 April 2002 at http://www.fishbase.org.
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Europe to Asia: Black, Caspian and Aral Sea basins. Introduced throughout the world. Wild stocks are only present naturally in rivers draining to the Black, Caspian and Aral Sea (Ref. 59043). A reophilic wild population in the Danube is assumed to be the origin of the European species; this population is now under threat (Ref. 13696).
  • Kottelat, M. and J. Freyhof 2007 Handbook of European freshwater fishes. Publications Kottelat, Cornol, Switzerland. 646 p. (Ref. 59043)
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Western Europe [native to Black Sea basin, possibly also Caspian and Aral seas basins], widely introduced worldwide.
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Range

The carp now has a global distribution, after numerous introductions (2). The supposed original wild European population occurs in the River Danube (2). This original population is now under threat, but a paucity of information means that the extent to which it is threatened is unclear. It is therefore classified as Data Deficient by the IUCN (world conservation union) Red List of threatened species (2) (3)
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Physical Description

Morphology

Carp often grow 30 to 60 cm in length and weigh 0.5 to 4 kg (Tomelleri and Eberle 1990); it is not uncommon for common carp to reach 15 to 20 kg (McCrimmon 1968). Males are usually distinguished from females by the larger ventral fin. Carp are characterized by their deep body and serrated dorsal spine (Nelson 1984). The mouth is terminal on the adult and subterminal on the young (Page and Burr 1991). Color and proportions are extremely variable, but scales are always large and thick. Three sub-species with slightly different scale patterns are recognized. C. carpio communis (scale carp) has regular concentric scales, C. carpio specularis (mirror carp) large scales running along the side of the body in several rows with the rest of the body naked, and C. carpio coiaceus (leather carp) with few or no scales on the back and a thick skin (McCrimmon 1968).

Range mass: 20 (high) kg.

Average mass: 0.5-4 kg.

Average length: 30-60 cm.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike

  • McCrimmon, H. 1968. Carp in Canada. Fisheries Research Board of Canada.
  • Tomelleri, J., M. Eberle. 1990. Fishes of the Central United States. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas.
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Physical Description

Carp are relatively broad, heavy-bodied fish, with a serrated (or toothy) spine on their back. Carp often grow 1 to 2 ft in length and weigh 1 to 8 pounds, but it is not uncommon for the common carp to reach 30-40 pounds. In adults, the mouth is terminal, which means it is located at the end of their face. Young carp have a mouth slightly under the pointed part of the face. Often there are two barbels at the corners of the mouth. The tail has two, rounded but deep lobes. Males have a slightly larger fin on their bellies, but otherwise males and females look very much alike. Color and exact form are extremely variable, but scales are always large and thick (  view examples).

Carp that have been specially bred to be extremely colorful are known in the pet trade as "koi" (rhymes with "boy"). Some people call them goldfish, but doing so confuses carp with their smaller, close relative, Carassius_auratus.

Range mass: 20 (high) kg.

Average mass: 0.5-4 kg.

Average length: 30-60 cm.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike

  • McCrimmon, H. 1968. Carp in Canada. Fisheries Research Board of Canada.
  • Tomelleri, J., M. Eberle. 1990. Fishes of the Central United States. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas.
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Dorsal spines (total): 3 - 4; Dorsal soft rays (total): 17 - 23; Anal spines: 2 - 3; Analsoft rays: 5 - 6; Vertebrae: 36 - 37
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Size

Length: 122 cm

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Max. size

110 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 59043)); max. published weight: 40.1 kg (Ref. 72380); max. reported age: 38 years (Ref. 72479)
  • Hinton 1962 Horned shark, gar, mormyriad, characin, carp, armored catfish, arowana, upside down catfish. Not given. (Ref. 72479)
  • Kottelat, M. and J. Freyhof 2007 Handbook of European freshwater fishes. Publications Kottelat, Cornol, Switzerland. 646 p. (Ref. 59043)
  • Machacek, H. (ed.) 2007 World Records Freshwater Fishing. www.fishing-worldrecords.com, November 2007. (Ref. 72380)
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnosed from other cyprinid species in Europe by having the following characters: 2 pairs of barbels; dorsal fin with 15-20½ branched rays; caudal fin deeply emarginate (Ref. 59043). Pharyngeal teeth 1, 1, 3:3, 1,1, robust, molar-like with crown flattened or somewhat furrowed. Scales large and thick. `Wild carp ' is generally distinguished by its less stocky build with height of body 1:3.2-4.8 in standard length. Very variable in form, proportions, squamation, development of fins, and color. Caudal fin with 3 spines and 17-19 rays (Ref. 2196). Last simple anal ray bony and serrated posteriorly; 4 barbels; 17-20 branched dorsal rays; body grey to bronze (Ref. 43281). Also Ref. 3398, 3410.
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Ecology

Habitat

Carp exploit large and small man made and natural reservoirs, and pools in slow or fast moving streams. They prefer larger, slower-moving bodies of water with soft sediments but they are tolerant and hardy fish that thrive in a wide variety of aquatic habitats.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; freshwater

Aquatic Biomes: benthic ; lakes and ponds; rivers and streams

Wetlands: marsh

  • Page, L., B. Burr. 1991. A Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes. Boston: Houghton Miflin.
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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Habitat:
Warm, deep, slow-flowing and still waters, such as lowland rivers and large, well vegetated lakes. Introduced in all types of water bodies. Spawns along shores or in backwaters. Successful survival of larvae only in very warm water, among shallow submerged vegetation.

Biology:
Males reproduce for the first time at 3-5 years, females at 4-6. Lives up to 50 years and usually spawns every year. Age of maturity is related to latitude and altitude. Spawns in May-June at temperatures above 18°C. Adults often make considerable spawning migrations to suitable backwaters and flooded meadows. Individual females spawn with a few males in dense vegetation. The sticky eggs are attached to water plants or other submerged objects. Larvae and juveniles inhabit warm and shallow flooded river margins or backwaters, feeding mostly on very small zooplankton (rotifers). Reproductive success is restricted to years when the water level starts rising in May and when high temperatures and flooding of terrestrial vegetation last for a long period during May and June. Juveniles and adults feeds on a wide variety of benthic organisms and plant material. Most active during dusk and dawn. Very tolerant of low oxygen concentrations.

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Habitat Type: Freshwater

Comments: Usually occurs in rivers, lakes, ponds, reservoirs, swamps, or low-salinity estuaries; usually in shallow water with abundant vegetation and little or no current; generally does not inhabit first-order, cold streams or deep lakes with little or no littoral zone. Tolerant of wide range in oxygen, salinity, turbidity, and bottom conditions. Fry, juveniles, and adults tolerate temperatures between 5 and 35 C; optimal growth occurs between 25 and 30 C (Edwards and Twomey 1982). Carp can live in water with turbidities in excess of 200 JTU and secchi disc visibilities less than 8 cm (3.2 in) (Jester 1974). A pH level greater than 10.5 or less than 5.0 is harmful (Edwards and Twomey 1982). Air gulping occurs when dissolved oxygen (DO) level is less than 0.5 mg/l; 6-7 mg/l DO is needed for optimum growth (Edwards and Twomey 1982). Some carp occur in areas with water currents as swift as 120 cm/sec, but much slower waters are preferred, such as less than 20 cm/sec in the Missouri River (Edwards and Twomey 1982).

Optimal river habitat is characterized by warm water (above 20 degrees C during the growing season, about mid-June through August), low gradient (above 1.5 m/km), shallow vegetated marshland available for spawning, at least 50% of the river area in pools or off-channel areas, adequate cover (logs, brush, etc.) in pools, and fertile conditions.

Optimal lake habitat has warm water (as defined above), at least 25% littoral area, aquatic or inundated vegetation for spawning, deeper waters for overwintering, and fertile conditions (Edwards and Twomey 1982). In winter, carp may occur in deeper water than used in summer. In Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin, adults spent the summer in 3-4 ft (0.9-1.2 m) of water and moved to 4-8 ft (1.2-2.4 m) in the winter (Otis and Weber 1982). Carp spent the winter in 5-7 m of water in Lake Mendota, Wisconsin (Johnson and Hasler 1977).

Usually, carp spawn in shallows and flooded areas in water depths of less than 0.5 m, but spawning has been observed in 1.8 m deep water (Edwards and Twomey 1982). Eggs are scattered and stick to submerged objects. Carp fry stay attached to the vegetation for about two days before dropping to the bottom, and they inhabit shallow (less than 2 m), warm sluggish water during their first summer (Edwards and Twomey 1982).

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Carp are freshwater fish that live their whole lives in pools in streams, lakes, and reservoirs. They prefer larger, warmer, slower-moving bodies of water with soft muddy bottoms, but they are tolerant and hardy fish that thrive in a wide variety of aquatic habitats. Carp may survive in harsh conditions such as water with little oxygen or water that has large changes in temperature, even temporary freezing.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; freshwater

Aquatic Biomes: benthic ; lakes and ponds; rivers and streams

Wetlands: marsh

  • Page, L., B. Burr. 1991. A Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes. Boston: Houghton Miflin.
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Environment

benthopelagic; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); freshwater; brackish; pH range: 7.0 - 7.5; dH range: 10 - 15
  • Riede, K. 2004 Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 329 p. (Ref. 51243)
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Depth range based on 42 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0.05 - 4.5

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0.05 - 4.5
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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This hardy fish is able to tolerate a broad range of conditions, but fares best in large bodies of fresh water with slow-flowing or still water, with soft muddy sediments (2).
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Migration

Introduction

This species has been introduced or released in Dutch waters.
  • Nijssen, H.; de Groot, S.J. (1987). De vissen van Nederland: systematische indeling, historisch overzicht, het ontstaan van de viskweek, uitheemse vissoorten, determineersleutels, beschrijvingen, afbeeldingen, literatuur, van alle in Nederlandse wateren voor komende zee- en zoetwatervissoorten [Fishes of the Netherlands: systematic classification, historical overview, origins of fish culture, non-indigenous species, determination keys, descriptions, drawings, literature references on all marine and freshwater fish species living in Dutch waters]. KNNV Uitgeverij: Utrecht, The Netherlands. ISBN 90-5011-006-1. 224 pp.
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Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Potamodromous. Migrating within streams, migratory in rivers, e.g. Saliminus, Moxostoma, Labeo. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
  • Riede, K. 2004 Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 329 p. (Ref. 51243)
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Trophic Strategy

Carp are primarily selective benthic omnivores that specialize on invertebrates that live in the sediments (Lammens and Hoogenboezem 1991). Newly hatched carp initially feed on zooplankton; specifically rotifers, copepods, and algae (McCrimmon 1968). Young of year carp feed on a variety of macroinvertebrates including chironomids, caddis flies, mollusks, ostracods, and crustaceans (McCrimmon 1968). Adult carp are known to eat a wide variety of organisms including, insects, crustaceans, annelids, mollusks, fish eggs, fish remains, and plant tubers and seeds (McCrimmon 1968, Lammens and Hoogenboezem, 1991). Carp feed by sucking up mud from the bottom ejecting it and them selectively consuming items while they are suspended (McCrimmon 1968). The feeding galleries of carp are easily recognized in shallow waters as depressions in the sediment (Cahn 1929).

Animal Foods: fish; eggs; carrion ; insects; mollusks; terrestrial worms; aquatic crustaceans; zooplankton

Plant Foods: leaves; roots and tubers; seeds, grains, and nuts; algae; macroalgae

Primary Diet: omnivore

  • Cahn, A. 1929. The Effect of Carp on a Small Lake: Carp as a Dominant. Ecology, 10: 271-274.
  • Lammens, E., W. Hoogenboezem. 1991. Diets and Feeding Behavior. Pp. 353-376 in I Winfield, J Nelson, eds. Cyprinid Fishes. London: Chapman and Hall.
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Inhabit lakes, ponds or slow moving waters, preferably with a muddy bottom; riverine conditions do not appear to suit the carp. Though they occur naturally in open river systems they are never known to dominate the environment. Larger fish generally frequent deeper waters. Common carp are acclimated to a variety of habitats and extremes of environment, eg high salinities and low oxygen concentrations (Ref. 6390). They have been observed to gulp air at the surface of oxygen-depleted waters (Ref. 30478). During winter carp go into deeper water which will be comparatively warmer than water in shallow areas.They are now established in the wild in Zimbabwe (Ref. 4967).Common carps are active swimmers that can leap obstacles up to 1 meter high and negotiate torrential flows (Ref. 2906).Feed on detritus, plants and benthic organisms (Ref. 6258, 10294). They feed by 'roiling', ie straining material from the mud (Ref. 6390). They will also take aquatic plants and insects from the surface (Ref. 2906). Also Ref. 9666.
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Comments: Omnivorous; adults eat mainly invertebrates, detritus, fish eggs, and plant material (Jester 1974, Becker 1983, Sublette et al. 1990). Fry feed on zooplankton, such as cladocerns and COPEPOD NAUPLII (Buckley et al. 1976) but eat phytoplankton if zooplankton densities are low (Edwards and Twomey 1982).

Most stomach analyses indicate that adults eat more animal matter than plant material (Moen 1953, Sigler 1958). Carp from several northwest Iowa lakes had an average of 10% plant material (debris, dead plant material, green fragments of pondweeds and filamentous algae, seeds of aquatic plants) and 90% animal material (midge larvae, caddisfly larvae, and other insect larvae, small crustaceans, small gastropods) (Moen 1953). In contrast, in Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico, carp stomach contents contained 43.5% plant material and 10.2% animal material, with the rest of the food being unrecognizable (Jester 1974). The clorophyta and chrysophyta plant phyla made up 32.5% of all the plant material; copepods and cladocerans were the predominant animal items.

Carp have been accused of eating large quantities of native fish eggs, but in both the Iowa and New Mexico, less than 1% of the food was fish eggs.

In winter, carp eat considerably less food than in the summer. In Iowa, all of the stomach material examined from fish in winter was animal matter, principally crustaceans and midge larvae (Moen 1953).

Foraging occurs on the bottom, on submerged objects, or at the surface (Jester 1974). When bottom feeding, carp swim slowly and steadily, in a head-down oblique position, with the mouth protruded, sucking up material and occasionally expelling it into the water column to pick out food items. Carp also "fan" the silt around rooted aquatic plants with their fins to uncover food items around the roots, and they sometimes pull up rooted vegetation for eating or uncovering food (Owen et al. 1981). Surface feeding is accompanied by a great deal of splashing and jumping from the water (Jester 1974).

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Food Habits

Carp are omnivores. They eat animals and plants living in the mud at the bottom of rivers and lakes. Newly hatched carp feed on algae and microscopic animals that drift in the water called zooplankton. As they get older and larger they feed on larger invertebrates like Tricoptera, Gastropoda, and Malacostraca. Adult carp are known to eat a wide variety of organisms including Insecta, Malacostraca, Oligochaeta, mollusks, Actinopterygii eggs, fish remains, and plant tubers and seeds. Carp feed by sucking up mud from the bottom, selecting what they want to eat and then spitting out the rest. You can recognize places where carps have been eating by seeing depressions in the mud at the bottom of shallow water.

Animal Foods: fish; eggs; carrion ; insects; mollusks; terrestrial worms; aquatic crustaceans; zooplankton

Plant Foods: leaves; roots and tubers; seeds, grains, and nuts; algae; macroalgae

  • Cahn, A. 1929. The Effect of Carp on a Small Lake: Carp as a Dominant. Ecology, 10: 271-274.
  • Lammens, E., W. Hoogenboezem. 1991. Diets and Feeding Behavior. Pp. 353-376 in I Winfield, J Nelson, eds. Cyprinid Fishes. London: Chapman and Hall.
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Associations

The unique method of feeding employed by common carp has important ecological implications. The feeding of carp has been shown to decimate macrophytes and decreases overall water quality (Drenner et al. 1997). Carp tend to reduce macrophyte biomass in three ways; 1) Bioturbation- Carp often uproot aquatic macrophytes when feeding, 2) Direct Consumption- Carp have been known to feed on tubers and young shoots, 3) Indirectly by increasing turbidity which in turn limits the available sunlight (Lougheed et al. 1997, Fletcher et al. 1985). Carp have been shown to decrease water quality by increasing turbidity and increasing the amount of nutrients in the water column (Lamarra, 1975; Brabrand et al. 1990). Carp increase turbidity directly by resuspending sediments and indirectly by increasing nutrients and thus increasing phytoplankton in the water column. Carp increase nutrients in the water column in two ways. A minimal amount of nutrients are introduced into the water column directly by sediment resuspension but the majority of carp introduced nutrients are acquired by excretion (Lamarra, 1975; Brabrand et al. 1990). Carp act as "nutrient pumps" when they consume the nutrient rich benthic sediments and then excrete those nutrients back into the water column in a form that is available to other organisms (Drenner et al. 1996). This tendency to cause a general decay in water quality and the high fecundity of the carp has caused them to be generally regarded as a nuisance (McCrimmon 1968; Page et al. 1991).

  • Brabrand, A., B. Faafeng, J. Nilssen. 1990. Relative importance of Phosphorus Supply to Phytoplankton Production: Fish Excretion versus External Loading. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 47: 364-372.
  • Drenner, R., J. Smith, S. Threlkeld. 1996. Lake Trophic State and the Limnological Effects of the Omnivorous Fish. Hydrobiologia, 319: 213-223.
  • Fletcher, A., A. Morison, D. Hume. 1985. Effects of Carp, -Cyprinus carpio L.-, on Communities of Aquatic Vegetation and Turbidity of Waterbodies in the Lower Goulburn River Basin. Aust. J. Mar. Freshw. Res., 36: 311-327.
  • Lamarra, V. 1975. Digestive Activities of Carp as a Major Contributor to the Nutrient Loading of Lakes. Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol., 19: 2461-2468.
  • Lougheed, V., B. Crosbie, P. Chow-Fraser. 1998. Predictions on the Effect of Common Carp (-Cyprinus carpio-) Exclusion on Water Quality, Zooplankton, and Submergent Macrophytes in a Great Lakes Wetland. Can. J. Fish. Aquai. Sci, 55: 1189-1197.
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Predators on young carp include large fish such as northern pike, muskellunge, walleye, and largemouth bass. (Froese and Pauly, 2002; Baldry, 2000) Birds such as great blue herons probably also eat them. Adults have no predators other than people.

Known Predators:

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Ecosystem Roles

Carp have a special way of feeding that decreases the quality of the water they live in. They lower the number of plants and algae growing in the water by uprooting them, eating them, and making the water turbid (cloudy) so that fewer plants grow. They also excrete large amounts of nitrogen into the water through their wastes, which often makes the water less suitable for othrer fish

  • Brabrand, A., B. Faafeng, J. Nilssen. 1990. Relative importance of Phosphorus Supply to Phytoplankton Production: Fish Excretion versus External Loading. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 47: 364-372.
  • Drenner, R., J. Smith, S. Threlkeld. 1996. Lake Trophic State and the Limnological Effects of the Omnivorous Fish. Hydrobiologia, 319: 213-223.
  • Fletcher, A., A. Morison, D. Hume. 1985. Effects of Carp, -Cyprinus carpio L.-, on Communities of Aquatic Vegetation and Turbidity of Waterbodies in the Lower Goulburn River Basin. Aust. J. Mar. Freshw. Res., 36: 311-327.
  • Lamarra, V. 1975. Digestive Activities of Carp as a Major Contributor to the Nutrient Loading of Lakes. Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol., 19: 2461-2468.
  • Lougheed, V., B. Crosbie, P. Chow-Fraser. 1998. Predictions on the Effect of Common Carp (-Cyprinus carpio-) Exclusion on Water Quality, Zooplankton, and Submergent Macrophytes in a Great Lakes Wetland. Can. J. Fish. Aquai. Sci, 55: 1189-1197.
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Predation

Predators on young carp include large Actinopterygii such as Esox lucius, Esox masquinongy, and Micropterus salmoides. Birds such as Ardea herodias probably also eat them. Adults have no predators other than people.

Known Predators:

  • northern pike (Esox_lucsius)
  • muskellunge (Esox_masquinongy)
  • largemouth bass (Micropterus_salmoides)
  • great blue herons (Ardea_herodias)
  • humans (Homo_sapiens)

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Known predators

Cyprinus carpio is prey of:
Esox lucius
Esox masquinongy
Micropterus salmoides
Ardea herodias
Homo sapiens

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
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Known prey organisms

Cyprinus carpio preys on:
non-insect arthropods

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
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Diseases and Parasites

Worm Cataract. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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White spot Disease. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Arthur, J.R. and S. Lumanlan-Mayo 1997 Checklist of the parasites of fishes of the Philippines. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. 369, 102 p. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 26129)
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Water mold Disease (l.). Fungal diseases
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Velvet Disease 2 (Piscinoodinium sp.). Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Ramesh, K.S., C.V. Mohan, K.M. Shankar and I. Ahmed 2000 Piscinoodinium sp. infection in juveniles of common carp (Cyprinus carpio), mahseer (Tor khudree) and tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus). J. Aquacult. Trop. 15(3):281-288. (Ref. 56207)
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Unspecified tumors. Neoplasia (tumors of unknown origin)
  • Bassleer, G. 2003 The new ilustrated guide to fish diseases in ornamental tropical and pond fish. Bassleer Biofish, Stationstraat 130, 2235 Westmeerbeek, Belgium, 1st Edition, 232p. (Ref. 48502)
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Turbidity of the Skin (Freshwater fish). Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Arthur, J.R. and A.B.A. Ahmed 2002 Checklist of the parasites of fishes of Bangladesh. FAO Fish. Tech. Paper (T369/1), 77 p. (Ref. 42533)
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Trichodinosis. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Trichodinella Infection 3. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Arthur, J.R. and S. Lumanlan-Mayo 1997 Checklist of the parasites of fishes of the Philippines. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. 369, 102 p. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 26129)
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Trichodinella Infection 2. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Arthur, J.R. and S. Lumanlan-Mayo 1997 Checklist of the parasites of fishes of the Philippines. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. 369, 102 p. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 26129)
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Trichodinella Infection 1. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Arthur, J.R. and S. Lumanlan-Mayo 1997 Checklist of the parasites of fishes of the Philippines. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. 369, 102 p. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 26129)
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Trichodina Infection 7. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Arthur, J.R. and S. Lumanlan-Mayo 1997 Checklist of the parasites of fishes of the Philippines. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. 369, 102 p. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 26129)
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Trichodina Infection 5. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Arthur, J.R. and S. Lumanlan-Mayo 1997 Checklist of the parasites of fishes of the Philippines. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. 369, 102 p. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 26129)
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Trichodina Infection 3. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Arthur, J.R. and S. Lumanlan-Mayo 1997 Checklist of the parasites of fishes of the Philippines. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. 369, 102 p. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 26129)
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Trichodina Infection 2. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Arthur, J.R. and S. Lumanlan-Mayo 1997 Checklist of the parasites of fishes of the Philippines. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. 369, 102 p. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 26129)
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Trichodina Infection 1. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Arthur, J.R. and S. Lumanlan-Mayo 1997 Checklist of the parasites of fishes of the Philippines. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. 369, 102 p. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 26129)
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Thelohanellus Infection 1. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Arthur, J.R. and S. Lumanlan-Mayo 1997 Checklist of the parasites of fishes of the Philippines. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. 369, 102 p. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 26129)
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SVC. Viral diseases
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Skin Flukes. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Red spot Disease. Bacterial diseases
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Pseudocapillaria Infestation 1. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Moravec, F. 1998 Nematodes of freshwater fishes of the neotropical region. 464 p. Praha, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. (Ref. 51153)
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Pallisentis Disease. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Arthur, J.R. and A.B.A. Ahmed 2002 Checklist of the parasites of fishes of Bangladesh. FAO Fish. Tech. Paper (T369/1), 77 p. (Ref. 42533)
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Myxobolus Infection 4. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Arthur, J.R. and S. Lumanlan-Mayo 1997 Checklist of the parasites of fishes of the Philippines. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. 369, 102 p. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 26129)
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Myxobolus Infection 3. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Arthur, J.R. and S. Lumanlan-Mayo 1997 Checklist of the parasites of fishes of the Philippines. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. 369, 102 p. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 26129)
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Myxobolus Infection 1. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Arthur, J.R. and S. Lumanlan-Mayo 1997 Checklist of the parasites of fishes of the Philippines. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. 369, 102 p. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 26129)
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Lymphocystis Disease. Viral diseases
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Lymphocystis Disease (dark). Viral diseases
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Koi Herpes Virus. Viral diseases
  • Bassleer, G. 2003 The new ilustrated guide to fish diseases in ornamental tropical and pond fish. Bassleer Biofish, Stationstraat 130, 2235 Westmeerbeek, Belgium, 1st Edition, 232p. (Ref. 48502)
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Infectious ascites (Ornament.). Bacterial diseases
  • Bassleer, G. 2003 The new ilustrated guide to fish diseases in ornamental tropical and pond fish. Bassleer Biofish, Stationstraat 130, 2235 Westmeerbeek, Belgium, 1st Edition, 232p. (Ref. 48502)
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Hole-in-the-Head Disease. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Bassleer, G. 2003 The new ilustrated guide to fish diseases in ornamental tropical and pond fish. Bassleer Biofish, Stationstraat 130, 2235 Westmeerbeek, Belgium, 1st Edition, 232p. (Ref. 48502)
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Fungal Gill Rot (sanguinis). Fungal diseases
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Fish Pox Disease. Viral diseases
  • Bassleer, G. 2003 The new ilustrated guide to fish diseases in ornamental tropical and pond fish. Bassleer Biofish, Stationstraat 130, 2235 Westmeerbeek, Belgium, 1st Edition, 232p. (Ref. 48502)
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Fish louse Infestation 1. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Fish leech Infestation. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Fin-rot Disease (late stage). Bacterial diseases
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Fin Rot (early stage). Bacterial diseases
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Epitheliocystis. Bacterial diseases
  • Lannan, C.N., J.L. Batholomew and J.L. Fryer 1999 Chlamydial infections of fish: Epitheliocystis. p.255-267. In P.T.K. Woo and D.W. Bruno (eds.) Fish Diseases and Disorders Vol. 3: Viral, bacterial and fungal infections. CABI Int'l. (Ref. 48851)
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Enteric Redmouth Disease. Bacterial diseases
  • Horne, M.T. and A.C. Barnes 1999 Enteric redmouth disease (Yersinia ruckeri). p.455-477. In P.T.K. Woo and D.W. Bruno (eds.) Fish Diseases and Disorders, Vol. 3: Viral, Bacterial and Fungal Infections. CAB Int'l. (Ref. 48849)
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Edwardsiellosis. Bacterial diseases
  • Plumb, J.A. 1999 Edwardsiella Septicaemias. p.479-521. In P.T.K. Woo and D.W. Bruno (eds.) Fish Diseases and Disorders, Vol. 3: Viral, Bacterial and Fungal Infections. CAB Int'l. (Ref. 48850)
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Dactylogyrus Gill Flukes Disease. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Costia Disease. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Congenital Deformities. Others
  • Bassleer, G. 2003 The new ilustrated guide to fish diseases in ornamental tropical and pond fish. Bassleer Biofish, Stationstraat 130, 2235 Westmeerbeek, Belgium, 1st Edition, 232p. (Ref. 48502)
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Columnaris Disease (l.). Bacterial diseases
  • Bassleer, G. 2003 The new ilustrated guide to fish diseases in ornamental tropical and pond fish. Bassleer Biofish, Stationstraat 130, 2235 Westmeerbeek, Belgium, 1st Edition, 232p. (Ref. 48502)
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Columnaris Disease (e.). Bacterial diseases
  • Bassleer, G. 2003 The new ilustrated guide to fish diseases in ornamental tropical and pond fish. Bassleer Biofish, Stationstraat 130, 2235 Westmeerbeek, Belgium, 1st Edition, 232p. (Ref. 48502)
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Coccidiosis (intestine). Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Chilodonella Disease. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Carp Reovirus. Viral diseases
  • Fijan, N. 1999 Spring viraemia of carp and other viral diseases and agents of warm-water fish. p.177-244. In P.T.K. Woo and D.W. Bruno (eds.) Fish Diseases and Disorders, Vol. 3: Viral, Bacterial and Fungal Infections. CAB Int'l. (Ref. 48847)
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Carp Iridovirus. Viral diseases
  • Fijan, N. 1999 Spring viraemia of carp and other viral diseases and agents of warm-water fish. p.177-244. In P.T.K. Woo and D.W. Bruno (eds.) Fish Diseases and Disorders, Vol. 3: Viral, Bacterial and Fungal Infections. CAB Int'l. (Ref. 48847)
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Carp Coronovirus Infection. Viral diseases
  • Fijan, N. 1999 Spring viraemia of carp and other viral diseases and agents of warm-water fish. p.177-244. In P.T.K. Woo and D.W. Bruno (eds.) Fish Diseases and Disorders, Vol. 3: Viral, Bacterial and Fungal Infections. CAB Int'l. (Ref. 48847)
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Capillaria Infestation 3. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Moravec, F. 1998 Nematodes of freshwater fishes of the neotropical region. 464 p. Praha, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. (Ref. 51153)
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Boil Disease. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Bacterial Infections (general). Bacterial diseases
  • Bassleer, G. 2003 The new ilustrated guide to fish diseases in ornamental tropical and pond fish. Bassleer Biofish, Stationstraat 130, 2235 Westmeerbeek, Belgium, 1st Edition, 232p. (Ref. 48502)
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Anchorworm Disease (Lernaea sp.). Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Arthur, J.R. and S. Lumanlan-Mayo 1997 Checklist of the parasites of fishes of the Philippines. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. 369, 102 p. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 26129)
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Anchor worm Disease. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Alikunhi, K.H. 1966 Synopsis of biological data on common carp Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus), 1758 (Asia and the Far East). FAO Fish. Synop. 31(2):39p. (Ref. 185)
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Aeromonosis. Bacterial diseases
  • Bassleer, G. 2003 The new ilustrated guide to fish diseases in ornamental tropical and pond fish. Bassleer Biofish, Stationstraat 130, 2235 Westmeerbeek, Belgium, 1st Edition, 232p. (Ref. 48502)
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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

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Global Abundance

10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals

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General Ecology

Carp have well-defined home ranges in both summer and winter but do not use the same ranges from season to season or from year to year (Otis and Weber 1982). In Wisconsin, winter home ranges, were one-third the size of summer ranges, and most of the everyday activities occurred in an area encompassing about 45% of the home range (Otis and Weber 1982).

Extensive movements sometimes occur. In a mark-recapture study in Missouri, 51.3% of the carp were recaptured within 1 mile of their release site and 90% stayed within 25 miles, but one individual was recaptured over 200 miles away (Funk 1955). In a Wisconsin lake, most anchor-tagged carp were recaptured within 2 miles of their release site, but one carp moved 7.5 miles (12.1 km) in 18 days and one was recaptured 19.5 miles (31.4 km) away after 72 days (Otis and Weber 1982). A carp tagged near Columbia, Missouri, was recaptured 28 months later in South Dakota, a distance of 676 stream miles (1090 km) (Pflieger 1975).

Adult carp have few enemies except humans; some juveniles are prey for predatory fishes, birds, and mammals. Sometimes, in shallow lakes and ponds, large numbers are killed by severe winter conditions (Shields 1957, Jessen and Kuehn 1958, Threinen 1949). Large-scale destruction of eggs occurs when water levels drop after the major spring spawning period, exposing and desiccating millions of eggs (Shields 1957, Sigler 1958).

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical

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Life Cycle

Spawn in marginal, shallow, weed-infested areas. A polytypic plastic species with a marked tendency to produce `varieties' and `races' in response to selective breeding and environmental influences. Carp is polygamous. A spawning female is usually followed by several males. Under tropical conditions carp breeds throughout the year. It is a seasonal spawner in temperate waters (Ref. 185). Females are known to lay more than a million eggs in a season; breeds at a temperature range of 15° C to 20°C; eggs hatch in 4 days (Ref. 6028). Obligatory plant spawners (Ref. 7471). "Adults often make considerable spawning migrations to suitable backwaters and flooded meadows. Individual females spawn with a few males in dense vegetation. The sticky eggs are attached to water plants or other submerged objects. Reproductive success is restricted to years when the water level starts rising in May and when high temperatures and flooding of terrestrial vegetation last for a long period during May and June" (Ref. 59043).
  • Balon, E.K. 1990 Epigenesis of an epigeneticist: the development of some alternative concepts on the early ontogeny and evolution of fishes. Guelph Ichthyol. Rev. 1:1-48. (Ref. 7471)
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Life Expectancy

There is a report of a common carp living an astounding 47 years, probably in captivity. Other reports of 17 to 20 years are probably more typical.

Range lifespan

Status: wild:
13.0 to 20.0 years.

Range lifespan

Status: captivity:
47.0 (high) years.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
38.0 years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
6.4 years.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
20.0 years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
47.0 years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
6.0 years.

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Lifespan/Longevity

There is a report of a common carp living an astounding 47 years, probably in captivity. Other reports of 13 to 20 years are probably more typical.

Range lifespan

Status: wild:
13.0 to 20.0 years.

Range lifespan

Status: captivity:
47.0 (high) years.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
38.0 years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
6.4 years.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
20.0 years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
47.0 years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
6.0 years.

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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 47 years (captivity)
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Reproduction

Mating System: polyandrous

Carp generally spawn in the spring and early summer depending upon the climate. They segregate into groups in the shallows to spawn. Carp prefer shallow waters with dense macrophyte cover. Males externally fertilize eggs, which the females scatter over macrophytes in a very active manner. The eggs stick to the substrate upon which they are scattered. A typical female (about 45 cm) may produce 300,000 eggs, with some estimates as high as one million over the breeding season. Incubation is related to water temperature and has been documented at three days at temperatures of 25 to 32C. Fry average 5 to 5.5 mm in total length. Temperature, stocking density, and availability of food influence individual growth. By the time the fish reach 8 mm the yolk has disappeared and they begin to actively feed. Males typically become sexually mature at 3 to 5 years and females at 4 to 5 years.

Breeding season: spring and early summer; year round in tropical areas

Average number of offspring: 300000.

Range gestation period: 4.0 (high) days.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 3.0 to 5.0 years.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 3.0 to 5.0 years.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; year-round breeding ; sexual ; fertilization (External ); oviparous

Average number of offspring: 300000.

Females facilitate attachment of fertilized eggs to the substrate. There is no further parental care.

Parental Investment: no parental involvement

  • McCrimmon, H. 1968. Carp in Canada. Fisheries Research Board of Canada.
  • Froese, R., D. Pauly. 2002. "Fishbase: Species summary for Cyprinus carpio" (On-line). Accessed 2 April 2002 at http://www.fishbase.org.
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Spawning occurs in spring and summer. Optimal water temperature for spawning is 18-22 C, although spawning can occur at water temperatures of 16-26 C (Shields 1957, Sigler 1958, Swee and McCrimmon 1966, Jester 1974). In South Dakota, a combination of rapidly rising water levels that inundated spawning areas and water temperatures above 62 F (16.5 C) were the primary stimulants for spawning (Shields 1957). Carp spawn from April through early August in Wisconsin (Miller 1952), mid-May through early August in Ontario (Swee and McCrimmon 1966), and late March through early fall in Missouri (Pflieger 1975) and New Mexico (Jester 1974).

The spawning act begins by the segregation of carp into small groups of 4-20 individuals, led by a large female. With their backs and dorsal fins sticking above the water, the female broadcasts her eggs while swimming and splashing and several males release milt into the water. The sticky eggs adhere to plants, logs, and rocks and harden in 15-25 minutes. In Ontario, 90% of the eggs attached to vegetation were fertile (Swee and McCrimmon 1966). The average number of eggs per female in New Mexico is 47,134 (Jester 1974) and 902,942 in Ontario (Swee and McCrimmon 1966). There is a direct relationship between the number of eggs produced and the length (and age) of the female. Very large (19.1-23.3 lbs, 8.7-10.1 kg) and old (16-18 years) females can produce 1-2 million eggs (Swee and McCrimmon 1966, Jester 1974). Many females retain as much as 20% of their eggs for a second spawn, and males spawn with several females throughout the season (Swee and McCrimmon 1966).

The eggs hatch in 3-16 days, depending on the water temperature, and the newly hatched fry are approximately 3 mm long (Swee and McCrimmon 1966).

The age of sexual maturity varies with water temperature. Males become sexually mature at 2-3 years in Wisconsin, South Dakota, and New Mexico, and at 3-4 years in Ontario (Threinen 1949, Shields 1957, Swee and McCrimmon 1966, Jester 1974). Females mature approximately one year later.

In Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico, carp had an average life span of 1.3 years (Jester 1974). The maximum lifespan for males appears to be 8-10 years and 16-18 years for females (Swee and McCrimmon 1966, Jester 1974).

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Mating System: polyandrous

Carp generally spawn in the spring and early summer in temperate areas (like Michigan, where there are cold and warm seasons). Carp can breed all year in the tropics. They gather together in shallow water with many plants. The females scatter their eggs in the water among the plants and then the males fertilize the eggs. This is called external fertilization because the male waits to fertilize the eggs until they are outside of the female's body. The eggs stick to whatever they fall on and begin to develop. A typical female (about 45 cm long) may produce 300,000 eggs; some fish may produce one million eggs over the breeding season. Larger females can generally produce more eggs. Depending on the water temperature, eggs take three or four days to hatch.

Males are typically large enough to spawn(also called sexually mature) at 3 to 5 years and females at 4 to 5 years.

Breeding season: spring and early summer; year round in tropical areas

Average number of offspring: 300000.

Range time to hatching: 4.0 (high) days.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 3.0 to 5.0 years.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 3.0 to 5.0 years.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; year-round breeding ; sexual ; fertilization (External ); oviparous

Average number of offspring: 300000.

Carp do not provide any care for their babies.

Parental Investment: no parental involvement

  • McCrimmon, H. 1968. Carp in Canada. Fisheries Research Board of Canada.
  • Froese, R., D. Pauly. 2002. "Fishbase: Species summary for Cyprinus carpio" (On-line). Accessed 2 April 2002 at http://www.fishbase.org.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Cyprinus carpio

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 39 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

CTTTATCTTGTATTTGGTGCCTGAGCCGGAATAGTAGGAACCGCCTTA---AGCCTCCTCATTCGGGCCGAACTTAGCCAACCCGGGTCGCTTCTAGGTGAT---GACCAAATTTATAACGTTATCGTCACTGCCCACGCCTTTGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATGCCTATCCTTATTGGAGGATTTGGAAACTGACTTGTACCACTAATA---ATCGGAGCCCCAGACATAGCATTCCCACGAATAAATAACATAAGCTTCTGACTACTGCCCCCATCATTCCTTCTACTCCTAGCTTCTTCTGGTGTTGAAGCTGGAGCTGGAACAGGATGAACCGTATACCCACCTCTTGCAGGGAACTTAGCCCACGCAGGAGCATCAGTAGACCTA---ACAATTTTCTCACTTCACCTAGCAGGTGTTTCATCAATTCTAGGGGCAATCAACTTTATTACTACAACCATCAACATGAAACCCCCAGCCATCTCCCAATACCAAACACCCCTGTTCGTCTGATCCGTGCTTGTAACCGCCGTATTGCTCCTTCTATCATTACCTGTTTTAGCCGCA---GGAATTACAATGCTCCTAACAGACCGAAACCTTAATACCACATTCTTTGACCCGGCAGGAGGAGGAGACCCAATCCTTTATCAACACTTA------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------TTC
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Cyprinus carpio

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 74
Specimens with Barcodes: 129
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

Common carp are common throughout much of the world.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: critically endangered

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
A2ce

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Freyhof, J. & Kottelat, M.

Reviewer/s
Bogutskaya, N., & Smith, K. (IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Unit)

Contributor/s

Justification
The native populations (Black, Caspian and Aral Sea basins) are slowly but continuously declining due to river regulation. Also hybridisation with domesticated introduced stocks, East Asian congeners and their hybrids, is a serious long term threat for the species. However, superficially pure carp (currently it is impossible to identify pure carp by genetic analysis) are still abundant in the lower parts of rivers within its native range. Most likely, only very few stocks remain "genetically unpolluted" as a result of this long lasting process. The average age of the spawners is estimated to be between 20-25 years, as they are a long lived species (up to 50 years). Although no population data exists, it is suspected that in the past 60 to 75 years within the species native range, river regulation (due to channelization and dams), which impacts the species as they need flooded areas at very specific times to successfully spawn, and hybridisation with introduced stock, has caused a population decline of over 30%.

History
  • 1996
    Data Deficient
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Worldwide range; very abundant; no significant threats.

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Carp are very common. They are hardy and have been used to stock lakes. However, they have a tendency to outlive and outreproduce native fish, competing with native fish for resources.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: critically endangered

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

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Status

Domestic carp: common and widespread: not threatened (2). Wild carp: classified as Data Deficient (DD) on the IUCN Red List 2003 (3).
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Population

Population
Within its native range the species is thought to be abundant.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)

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Threats

Major Threats
River regulation (they require flooded areas to spawn) and hybridisation with introduced stocks is a major threat.
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Degree of Threat: D : Unthreatened throughout its range, communities may be threatened in minor portions of the range or degree of variation falls within natural variation

Comments: No significant threats.

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Vulnerable (VU) (A2ce)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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This species is not threatened.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No information.
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Management Requirements: Carp have become successfully established in most waterways with appropriate habitat because of their ability to migrate long distances, high fecundity, omnivorous feeding habits, and tolerance of poor water quality. In areas with optimal habitat, carp can multiply to high densities without management and become a problem by destroying vegetation used by waterfowl and young gamefish or increasing turbidity and eutrophication. In some areas, such as deep lakes with little littoral zone, the carp population maintains itself at low densities with no management and no problems (Threinen 1949; Henneger, pers. comm.). Carp will never be eradicated from most water systems and hence require careful, often continuous management. The goal of carp management is to keep carp densities low and to maintain a population which has a balance of individuals in every age class instead of all individuals in one or two age classes (Henneger, pers. comm.). With this type of population structure, the carp population is less likely to increase to harmful densities. In a few cases (e.g., in a small marsh, small lake, or farm pond), it may be desirable and feasible to eradicate all carp. This option is exercised when large amounts of aquatic vegetation are needed for waterfowl (Henneger, pers. comm.). If carp are completely eradicated, great care must be taken to prevent the reintroduction of carp into the water system.

The most effective approach to carp control is an integrated approach combining chemical, mechanical, and biological methods (Marking and Bills 1981; Priegel, pers. comm.). Mechanical methods include electric wires, water drawdown, seining, trapping, and fishing. Biological methods include the stocking of predatory fishes, improving water quality, and prohibiting the use of live carp as bait. The effectiveness of all procedures is increased if there is a good knowledge of the carp habitat and movements in the water system being managed (Jester 1974). The methods chosen, and the effectiveness of these methods, depend on whether partial or complete carp eradication is desired. Some methods, especially chemicals, water drawdowns, and electrofishing, are not species-specific; if large numbers of fishes, besides carp, are in the water system, these methods may not be appropriate. Some methods, such as seining, trapping, and netting may be cost-effective in that the captured carp can be sold.

SEINES: Seining is probably the most commonly used mechanical method. Seines are most effective in spring and fall when the fish bunch up and in early mornings and late afternoons (Threinen 1949, Cahoon 1953). Seines vary in length and depth and stretch mesh sizes generally range from 2 to 5 in (5.1-12.7 cm). Catches of up to 500,000 lbs per pull have been reported with seines (Threinen 1949). Areas to be seined sometimes are baited with grain to increase the carp catch (Cahoon 1953). Usually, commercial fisheries personnel are contracted to seine for carp, especially in large water systems.

TRAPS: Wooden carp traps are most effective in narrow bodies of water such as rivers, inlet and outlet streams, and narrow bays. They are most productive in the spring and fall when maximum carp movement occurs (Threinen 1949, Miller 1952). Some Wisconsin traps have produced up to 1000,000 lbs of carp in a season (Threinen 1949).

NETS: Threinen (1949) reported that gill nets catch fewer pounds of carp than seines in Wisconsin lakes in the summer, but he noted that gill nets can be used effectively in the winter under the ice. However, Jester (1974) found that gill nets with 4 and 5 in (10.2 and 12.7 cm) stretch mesh were more effective at harvesting carp in Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico, than were seines or traps. Gill nets that are yellow, blue, brown, white, or clear all successfully catch carp, but red, green, and violet nets seem to repel carp (Jester 1973). Mayhew (1973) experimentally tested the attractiveness of various baits in 61 cm diameter hoop nets with 3.8 cm stretch mesh in Red Rock Reservoir, Iowa. Soybean cake bait attracted the most carp, a soybean and cheese combination bait attracted fewer carp, and cheese bait and empty nets were ineffective. Mayhew (1973) caught the highest number of carp in August, followed by July, September, and June.

WATER DRAWDOWN: For water systems such as reservoirs, where the water level can be easily manipulated, lowering the water level during spawning (to dry out eggs laid in the shallows) (Shields 1957) or at other times, to suffocate the fish (Haglund, pers. comm.), is an option. Drawdowns designed to dry out eggs are difficult because the timing must be perfect (Shields 1957; Henneger, pers. comm.). The most frequent use of water drawdowns is a partial drawdown used in conjunction with a chemical, with the objective of reducing the volume of water and, therefore, reducing the amount of toxicant needed (Hacker 1971; Henneger, pers. comm.).

ELECTROFISHING: Electrical devices are rarely used because they are extremely dangerous to people and because other mechanical devices are just as effective (Henneger, pers. comm.). One application is to extend electric wires in the water just above a dam and then collect the stunned and dead fish just below the dam (Henneger, pers. comm.). Electrical currents are most effective as a carp barrier. Electric weirs or wires create an electrical field that carp will not pass through and so, carp can be kept from migrating into unwanted areas (Henneger, pers. comm.).

BIOLOGICAL: Biological methods can contribute to carp control when used with other control methods. Theoretically, stocking water systems with predatory fishes should help maintain a healthy population of carp at low densities, if the predators are stocked after carp densities have been reduced by another method (Miller 1952; Lennon et al. 1970; Priegel, pers. comm.). However, it is difficult to ascertain the effect of stocking predators on carp populations. Carp are tolerant of poor water conditions and are usually abundant in areas that have been fertilized by raw sewage, fertilizer runoff, or other organic pollutants (Pflieger 1975, Owen et al. 1981). Improving water quality, in conjunction with other methods, should reduce carp numbers (Priegel, pers. comm.). Finally, prohibiting the use of carp as live bait can prevent introduction of carp in areas that have been cleared of carp (Sigler 1958, Lennon et al. 1970).

CHEMICAL: Partial (spot) or complete treatment of water systems with fish toxicants is the most effective method of carp control, especially when used with another method (Priegel, pers. comm.). Two chemicals are registered in the United States for use as fish toxicants: antimycin and rotenone (Lennon et al. 1970, Marking and Bills 1981). Neither chemical is very effective below depths of 15 feet (Lennon et al. 1970). Both chemicals act by inhibiting cellular respiration in fish (Lennon et al. 1970).

Antimycin is pH sensitive; it degrades rapidly in waters with a pH greater than 8.5 and degrades within 7-10 days in more acidic waters. The toxicant is packaged as a controlled-release coating on sand grains and as a water-soluble liquid. Depending on the formulation used, sand grains release the poison within the first 5-15 feet (1.5-4.6 m) of depth. The sand formulations are more effective than the liquid form in areas choked with aquatic non-emergent vegetation. Liquids tend to stick to the vegetation and do not effectively penetrate all vegetated areas. Gilderhus et al. (1969) and Lennon and Berger (1970: table 5) reported the results of over 50 field tests of antimycin.

Rotenone is available in both a liquid and a powdered form. Liquid rotenone is malodorous and repels fish. Therefore, the target fish must be prevented from escaping. Another problem is that rotenone is reversible; a poisoned fish can recover if it finds a non-poisoned area. Under ideal conditions, a concentration of 0.5 mg/l (ppm) is recommended, but concentrations up to 5.0 mg/l are used (Sigler 1958, Bonn and Holbert 1961, Lennon et al. 1970). Except in very soft water, rotenone degrades within two weeks of application. When used together, rotenone and antimycin have an additive effect on fishes (Howland 1969). Smith (1950) and Lennon et al. (1970) reviewed studies that have used rotenone to reclaim lakes and steams and some carp data is included.

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Global Protection: Many to very many (13 to >40) occurrences appropriately protected and managed

Needs: None.

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Conservation

Conservation action is not required for this introduced species in Britain.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Common carp are an introduced species throughout most of the world and are generally considered a nuisance.

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Carp are an important food fish throughout most of the world except for in Australia and North America where the fish is considered unpalatable (McCrimmon 1968; Banarescu and Coad 1991). The world catch rate of carp per year exceeds 200,000 tons (Banarescu and Coad 1991). The more colorful carp, called Koi, are bred in captivity and sold as ornamental pond fish.

Positive Impacts: pet trade ; food

  • Banarescu, P., B. Coad. 1991. Cyprinids of Eurasia. Pp. 127-155 in I Winfield, J Nelson, eds. Cyprinid Fishes. London: Chapman and Hall.
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Economic Uses

Comments: Has been cultivated for food in Asia for centuries. Use as food in North America is limited but, when properly prepared, carp are considered good eating by many. Has been used in carcinogenesis testing (Metcalfe 1989). See Cooper (1987) for further information on utilization by humans.

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Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

These fish are considered pests in most of the places where they have been introduced. Impacts on humans include: reduced water quality (because they stir up mud and make it hard for plants to grow) and decreases in more valuable game fish and waterfowl. Also, attempts to get rid of carp are very costly.

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Carp are an important food fish throughout most of the world except for in Australia and North America where the fish is considered bad-tasting. The world catch rate of carp per year exceeds 200,000 tons. The more colorful carp, called Koi, are bred in captivity and sold as ornamental pond fish.

Positive Impacts: pet trade ; food

  • Banarescu, P., B. Coad. 1991. Cyprinids of Eurasia. Pp. 127-155 in I Winfield, J Nelson, eds. Cyprinid Fishes. London: Chapman and Hall.
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Importance

fisheries: highly commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 1992 FAO yearbook 1990. Fishery statistics. Catches and landings. FAO Fish. Ser. (38). FAO Stat. Ser. 70:(105):647 p. (Ref. 4931)
  • Garibaldi, L. 1996 List of animal species used in aquaculture. FAO Fish. Circ. 914. 38 p. (Ref. 12108)
  • International Game Fish Association 1991 World record game fishes. International Game Fish Association, Florida, USA. (Ref. 4699)
  • Welcomme, R.L. 1988 International introductions of inland aquatic species. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. 294. 318 p. (Ref. 1739)
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Risks

Stewardship Overview: To manage carp populations, use an integrated approach combining chemical, mechanical, and biological methods, based on the physical and chemical characteristics of the water system being managed and on the degree of carp control desired. Give careful consideration to secondary effects of control methods used. Defend against reintroduction of carp.

Species Impact: In most areas of North America, the common carp is considered an undesirable species because it increases the turbidity of the water by its feeding and spawning activities (Chamberlain 1948, Miller 1952, Threinen and Helm 1954), uproots and eats aquatic vegetation important to waterfowl and the young of native fishes (Threinen 1949, Rose and Moen 1952, Cahoon 1953), alters the quality of the water (Lamarra 1976), and feeds on the eggs of more desirable fishes.

Tyron (1954) conducted an experiment to test the effect of carp on aquatic vegetation by setting up screened carp exclosures in a Pennsylvania lake. The exclosures had an average of 3.9 g of dried plants/sq meter compared with 1.4 g/sq meter in adjacent open quadrats. King and Hunt (1967) used carp exclosures in a lake marsh and found a significantly higher weight of plant species inside the exclosures. Chara (CHARA sp.) was eaten and leafy pondweed (POTAMOGETON FOLIOSUS) was uprooted by the carp; sago pondweed (P. PECTINATUS) and crispus (P. CRISPUS) were not affected by carp activity. At carp densities less than 300 lb/acre (336 kg/ha), plant growth was most affected in early and late summer but, at higher carp densities, plants were adversely affected throughout the growing season.

Robel (1961) stocked enclosures with known numbers of carp in a Utah marsh and compared the amount of vegetation and turbidity levels with empty control enclosures. There was no difference in turbidity between control and experimental enclosures. Vegetative productivity in control enclosures was not different from that in enclosures with less than 200 lbs carp/acre (224 kg/ha) but was significantly higher than in enclosures with over 400 lb carp/acre (448 kg/ha).

The amount of turbidity caused by carp depends on the type of bottom substrate. Mraz and Cooper (1957) observed that ponds with the bottom covered with fibrous plant materials showed an increase in turbidity when carp were added, but ponds with loam bottoms became very turbid.

Lamarra (1976) proposed that carp densities of 200 kg/ha are high enough to possibly cause serious levels of eutrophication through carp feeding and digestion. Carp densities of 200 kg/ha in two Minnesota ponds were sufficient to increase the amount of chlorophyll a, net community production, and community respiration. From in situ experiments, Lamarra concluded that these increases were caused by the rapid recycling of nutrients, especially phosphorus, by carp.

In conclusion, the magnitude of carp destruction of aquatic habitats primarily depends on the density of carp. Other factors, such as type of bottom substrate, the plant species present, and the season also affect the impact of carp presence.

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Wikipedia

Common carp

The common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is a widespread freshwater fish of eutrophic waters in lakes and large rivers in Europe and Asia.[2][3] The wild populations are considered vulnerable to extinction, but the species has also been domesticated and introduced into environments worldwide, and is often considered a very destructive invasive species,[2] being included in the List of the world's 100 worst invasive species. It gives its name to the carp family: Cyprinidae.

Taxonomy[edit]

Common carp by Alexander Francis Lydon.

The four subspecies are:

It is related to the common goldfish (Carassius auratus), with which it is capable of interbreeding.[7][8]

History[edit]

The common carp is native to Asia, and has been introduced to every part of the world with the exception of the Middle East and the poles. The original common carp was found in the inland delta of the Danube River about 2000 years ago, and was torpedo-shaped and golden-yellow in colour. It had two pairs of barbels and a mesh-like scale pattern. Although this fish was initially kept as an exploited captive, it was later maintained in large, specially built ponds by the Romans in south-central Europe (verified by the discovery of common carp remains in excavated settlements in the Danube delta area). As aquaculture became a profitable branch of agriculture, efforts were made to farm the animals, and the culture systems soon included spawning and growing ponds.[9] The common carp's native range also extends to the Black Sea, Caspian Sea and Aral Sea.

Both European and Asian subspecies have been domesticated.[4] In Europe, domestication of carp as food fish was spread by monks between the 13th and 16th centuries. The wild forms of carp had reached the delta of the Rhine in the 12th century already, probably also with some human help.[10] Variants that have arisen with domestication include the mirror carp, with large, mirror-like scales (linear mirror – scaleless except for a row of large scales that run along the lateral line; originating in Germany), the leather carp (virtually unscaled except near dorsal fin), and the fully scaled carp. Koi carp (錦鯉 (nishikigoi) in Japanese, 鯉魚 (pinyin: lĭ yú) in Chinese) is a domesticated ornamental variety that originated in the Niigata region of Japan in the 1820s.[11] They also invaded the Great Lakes in 1896 when the area near Newmarket, Ontario, flooded and allowed them to escape into the Holland River.

Physiology[edit]

Dutch wild carp

Wild common carp are typically slimmer than domesticated forms, with body length about four times body height, red flesh, and a forward-protruding mouth. Their average growth rate by weight is about half the growth rate of domesticated carp[12][13] They do not reach the lengths and weights of domesticated carp, which (range, 3.2–4.8 times)[2] can grow to a maximum length of 120 centimetres (47 in), a maximum weight of over 40 kilograms (88 lb),[2] and an oldest recorded age of 65 years, but reliable information seems to exist about nishikigoi of over 100 years.[13][14] The largest recorded carp, caught by an angler in January 2010 at Lac de curtons (Rainbow Lake) near Bordeaux, France, weighed 42.6 kilograms (94 lb).[15] The largest recorded carp, caught by British angler, Colin Smith, in 2013 at Etang La Saussaie Fishery, France, weighed 45.59 kilograms (100.5 lb). The average size of the common carp is around 40–80 cm (15.75-31.5 inches) and 2–14 kg (4.5-31 lb).

The skeleton of a Common Carp.
Common carp x-ray

Habitat[edit]

Carp from Vltava river, Czech Republic

Although tolerant of most conditions, common carp prefer large bodies of slow or standing water and soft, vegetative sediments. As schooling fish, they prefer to be in groups of five or more. They naturally live in temperate climates in fresh or slightly brackish water with a pH of 6.5–9.0 and salinity up to about 0.5%,[16] and temperatures of 3 to 35°C.[2] The ideal temperature is 23 to 30°C, with spawning beginning at 17–18°C; they easily survive winter in a frozen-over pond, as long as some free water remains below the ice.[16] Carp are able to tolerate water with very low oxygen levels, by gulping air at the surface.[3]

Diet[edit]

Common carp are omnivorous. They can eat a herbivorous diet of water plants, but prefer to scavenge the bottom for insects, crustaceans (including zooplankton), crawfish, and benthic worms.

Reproduction[edit]

An egg-layer, a typical adult female can lay 300,000 eggs in a single spawn.[17] Although carp typically spawn in the spring, in response to rising water temperatures and rainfall, carp can spawn multiple times in a season. In commercial operations, spawning is often stimulated using a process called hypophysation, where lyophilized pituitary extract is injected into the fish. The pituitary extract contains gonadotropic hormones which stimulate gonad maturation and sex steroid production, ultimately promoting reproduction.

Predation[edit]

A single carp can lay over a million eggs in a year,[3] yet their population remains the same, so the eggs and young perish in similarly vast numbers. Eggs and fry often fall victim to bacteria, fungi, and the vast array of tiny predators in the pond environment. Carp which survive to juvenile are preyed upon by other fish such as the northern pike and largemouth bass, and a number of birds (including cormorants, herons, goosanders, and ospreys)[18] and mammals (including otter and mink).

Introduction into other habitats[edit]

Carp gather near a dock in Lake Powell
Carp in the duck pond in Herbert Park, Dublin, Ireland
Koi in Chinese Garden Zürich, Switzerland

Common carp have been introduced, sometimes illegally, to most continents and some 59 countries. Due to their fecundity and their feeding habit of grubbing through bottom sediments for food, they are notorious for altering their environments. In feeding, they may destroy, uproot, disturb and eat submerged vegetation, causing serious damage to native duck, such as canvasbacks, and fish populations.[19] Similar to the grass carp, the vegetation they consume is not completely digested, and rots after excretion, raising the nutritional level of the water and causing exsessive algae growth. They destroy nests of other fish and eat their eggs, reducing their numbers significantly. .

In Australia, enormous anecdotal and mounting scientific evidence indicates introduced carp are the cause of permanent turbidity and loss of submergent vegetation in the Murray-Darling river system, with severe consequences for river ecosystems, water quality and native fish species.[20] In Victoria, Australia, common carp has been declared as noxious fish species, the quantity a fisher can take is unlimited.[21] In South Australia, it is an offence for this species to be released back to the wild.[22] An Australian company converts common carp into plant fertilizer.[23]

Efforts to eradicate a small colony from Tasmania's Lake Crescent without using chemicals have been successful, but the long-term, expensive and intensive undertaking is an example of both the possibility and difficulty of safely removing the species once it is established.[citation needed] One proposal, regarded as environmentally questionable, is to control common carp by deliberate exposing them to carp-specific Koi herpes virus with its high mortality rate. The CSIRO has developed a technique for genetically modifying carp to that they only produce male offspring. This daughterless carp method shows promise for totally eradicating carp from Australia's waterways.

Common carp were brought to the United States in 1831.[24] In the late 19th century, they were distributed widely throughout the country by the government as a food-fish, but they are no longer prized as a food-fish. As in Australia, their introduction has been shown to have negative environmental consequences,[25] 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.[20]

In Utah Lake Utah, the common carp's population is expected to be reduced by 75% by using nets to catch millions of them and either give them to people who will eat them or processing them into fertilizer. This, in turn, will give the native June sucker a chance to recover its declining population. Another method is by trapping them in tributaries they use to spawn with seine nets and exposing them to rotenone. This method has shown to reduce their impact within 24 hours and greatly increase the native vegetation and desirable fish species. This also leaves the baby carp easily preyed upon by native fish.

Common carp are believed to have been introduced into the Canadian province of British Columbia from Washington. They were first noted in the Okanagan Valley in 1912, as was their rapid growth in population. Carp are currently distributed in the lower Columbia (Arrow Lakes), lower Kootenay, Kettle (Christina Lake), and throughout the Okanagan system.[26]

As food and sport[edit]

See also: Carp fishing
Lake Prespa carp, as served.
A common carp was caught by an artificial fly,

Cyprinus carpio is the number one fish of aquaculture. The annual tonnage of common carp, not to mention the other cyprinids, produced in China alone exceeds the weight of all other fish, such as trout and salmon, produced by aquaculture worldwide. Roughly three million tonnes are produced annually, accounting for 14% of all farmed freshwater fish in 2002. China is by far the largest commercial producer, accounting for about 70% of carp production.[16] Carp is eaten in many parts of the world both when caught from the wild and raised in aquaculture. In Central Europe, it is a traditional part of a Christmas Eve dinner. The carp as Christmas food was the first mentioned by William of Rubruck, who ate it on the Christmas dinner on the court of Mongol khan Möngke in year 1253. Many people in Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary buy a live carp and bring it home three or two days before Christmas Eve. It is kept one or two days in a bathtub, and then killed. Traditional Czech Christmas Eve dinner is thick soup of carp's head and offal, fried carp meat with potato salad or boiled carp in black sauce. In some Czech families, the carp is not killed, but after Christmas returned to a river or pond. Slovak Christmas Eve dinner is quite similar with soup varying according to the region and fried carp as the main dish. In Western Europe, the carp is cultured more commonly as a sport fish, although there is a small market as food fish.[27][28] Carp are mixed with other common fish to make gefilte fish, popular in Jewish cuisine.

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.

The Romans farmed carp and this pond culture continued through the monasteries of Europe and to this day. In China, Korea and Japan, carp farming took place as early as the Yayoi Period (c. 300 BC – 300 AD).[29]

Carp eggs used for caviar is an increasing popularity in the United States.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Freyhof, J. & Kottelat, M. (2008). "Cyprinus carpio". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Fishbase: Cyprinus carpio carpio Linnaeus, 1758
  3. ^ a b c Arkive: Common carp (Cyprinus carpio)
  4. ^ a b c d Jian Feng Zhou, Qing Jiang Wu, Yu Zhen Ye & Jin Gou Tong (2003). Genetic divergence between Cyprinus carpio carpio and Cyprinus carpio haematopterus as assessed by mitochondrial DNA analysis, with emphasis on origin of European domestic carp Genetica 119: 93–97
  5. ^ Fishbase: Cyprinus carpio haematopterus Martens, 1876
  6. ^ Fishbase: Cyprinus rubrofuscus Lacepède, 1803
  7. ^ Taylor, J., R. Mahon. 1977. Hybridization of Cyprinus carpio and Carassius auratus, the first two exotic species in the lower Laurentian Great Lakes. Environmental Biology Of Fishes 1(2):205-208.
  8. ^ Photo of goldfish x common carp hybrid in Melton Hill Reservoir from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
  9. ^ Balon, E. K. (2004). About the oldest domesticates among fishes. Journal of Fish Biology, 65 (Supplement A): 1–27. In Carp Fishing Science
  10. ^ Aanvullend Archeologisch Onderzoek op terrein 9 te Houten-Loerik, gemeente Houten (U.)
  11. ^ Ray Jordan Koi History
  12. ^ Wilt, R.S. de, Emmerik W.A.M. (2008-01-31). "Kennisdocument Karper Sportvisserij Nederland". Retrieved December 13, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Füllner G., Pfeifer M., Langner N. "Karpfenteichwirtschaft". Sächsische Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft. Retrieved December 13, 2011. 
  14. ^ "ghostcarplake.com". ghostcarplake.com. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  15. ^ Lac de curtons (in French)
  16. ^ a b c Food and Agriculture Organization Fisheries & Aquaculture: Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme – Cyprinus carpio
  17. ^ "Carp Fishing for carp fishing information". Carp-fishing.org. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  18. ^ Cramp, S. (ed.). The Birds of the Western Palearctic volumes 1 (1977) & 2 (1980). OUP.
  19. ^ "Welcome to". Lakeconservation.com. 2010-01-15. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  20. ^ a b "Echuca Moama Fishing - European Carp". Echuca.ws. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  21. ^ Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide 2006-2007
  22. ^ fishsa.com
  23. ^ carp as fertilizer
  24. ^ [1][dead link]
  25. ^ USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Program
  26. ^ Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus) on Living Landscapes, from the Royal British Columbia Museum
  27. ^ [2][dead link]
  28. ^ [3][dead link]
  29. ^ Daily Yomiuri newspaper, September 19, 2008
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Showa (fish)

Shower is a variety of ornamental koi (carp). The Showa is also known as the Showa Sanshoku. The Showa has a black (sumi) body, with red (hi) and white (shiro) markings across the body. The Showa is one of the gosanke; the ‘Big Three’, consisting of Kohaku, Sanke, and Showa.

Showa were originally developed by Jukichi Hoshino about 1927. He paired a Kohaku and a Ki-Utsuri. These early Showas had a grayish shiro and striped fins. The sumi (black) was dull and the hi was weak. Later, Showa were bred to Asagi which helped produce the black motoguro markings in the fins. However, the hi was still weak and pale. In 1964 Tomiji Kobayashi crossed a male Kahaku with a female Showa to produce a new style Showa with a large crimson red pattern. It also had a brighter white ground without netting. However, the Kobayashi Showa still suffered from small size and poor body shape. A major leap forward came as a result of a spectacular (for its time) inazuma (lightning pattern) showa bred by Minoru Mano. The inazuma showa represented a huge improvement in body conformation and overall color quality, and it was used as a brood fish for many years after.[1]

References[edit]

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Two subspecies (C. carpio carpio, the European Carp; and C. carpio haematopterus, the Amur Carp) are recognized by authors investigating the species (such as Zhou et al. 2003, Mabuchi 2005, and Kohlmann 1999). The Amur Carp is considered as an east Asian species whereas the ssp. carpio evolved in Europe.
Common carp is one of the most frequently cultivated fish species worldwide (Mabuchi 2005, Zhou 2003) and many domesticated forms are present, either bred for food or aquarium purposes (i.e. Japanese Ornamental Carp or Koi). Balon (1995) also reviews the origin and domestication and considers that carp were first domesticated by the Romans as a food source.

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