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Fish Guide



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Bighead carp, Aristichthys nobilis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae

and others

A carp is any of various freshwater fish of the family Cyprinidae. The common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is the most common and best-known species of carp. Originally from Asia, carp were introduced to England from western Europe during the 13th century, when they were cultivated mainly by monks. They were subsequently introduced into North America in 1877. Fish were released in ponds in Druid Hill Park in Baltimore, Maryland. Later, surplus populations were released in Washington D.C.. This was a project of Rudolf Hessel, a fish culturist in the employ of the United States Government. There was substantial favorable publicity and carp were widely introduced throughout the United States. Introduced Carp readily adapted to their new environment, spreading rapidly throughout any drainage area in which they were released. Carp have since become naturalized in almost every water in which they were introduced.

While tasty when grown in good water, carp can be riddled with small bones in unpredictable locations. Most carp have a fishy taste and are not considered to be good for eating in North America, although they are popular in restaurants in Japan and Taiwan where the fish are also considered to be signs of good fortune. Carp is a traditional Christmas Eve dish in the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Germany and Poland. The common carp is one of the most aquacultured consumption fish in the world, produced in the hundreds of thousands of tons annually.

Carp have food and angling value that is celebrated in some parts of the world. The carp has not yet gained gamefish status in the U.S. and are considered garbage among bass fisherman. In Europe on the other hand they are a trophy fish and lake owners are prepared to pay as much as 4000 or $7500 dollars for 40lb carp if fisherman fish for them on a catch and release basis.



Carp have gained a negative reputation in the U.S., being blamed for everything from a decline in sportfish stocks to decreases in water quality. In Europe, Carp are preferred for sports fishing, as popular as Bass are in the United States. Separating the Carp's reputed impacts from its actual impacts can be difficult. There is little evidence yet to support the claims of Carp eating the spawn of other fish. Tales of Carp muddying waters and destroying water weed through their bottom-feeding habits are often exaggerated, becoming problematic only in the shallowest and muddiest of waters.

Types of carp

Carp swarm in great numbers to eat feed thrown by tourists in Urfa, Turkey.
Carp swarm in great numbers to eat feed thrown by tourists in Urfa, Turkey.
Carp gather near a dock in Lake Powell
Carp gather near a dock in Lake Powell
  • Genus Abramis
    • Carp bream (Abramis brama)
  • Genus Aristichthys:
    • Bighead carp (Aristichthys nobilis)
  • Genus Barbodes:
    • Carnatic carp (Barbodes carnaticus)
  • Genus Carassius:
    • Crucian carp (Carassius carassius )
      Prussian carp (Carassius gibelio)
      Goldfish (Carassius auratus)
  • Genus Cirrhinus:
    • Chinese mud carp (Cirrhinus chinensis)
      Deccan white carp (Cirrhinus fulungee)
      Hora white carp (Cirrhinus macrops)
      Small scale mud carp (Cirrhinus microlepis)
      Mud carp (Cirrhinus molitorella)
  • Genus Ctenopharyngodon:
    • Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus)
  • Genus Culter:
    • Predatory carp (Culter erythropterus)
  • Genus Cyprinus:
    • Common carp, Koi (Cyprinus carpio)
  • Genus Epalzeorhynchos:
    • Red-tailed black shark (Epalzeorhynchos bicolor)
      Red-finned black shark or Rainbow shark (Epalzeorhynchos frenatus)
  • Genus Henicorhynchus:
    • Siamese mud carp (Henicorhynchus siamensis)
  • Genus Hypophthalmichthys:
    • Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix)
  • Genus Labeo:
    • African carp (Labeo coubie)
      Fringed-lipped peninsula carp (Labeo fimbriatus)
      Bigmouth carp (Labeo kontius)
  • Genus Mylopharyngodon:
    • Black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus)

In Legend

In Chinese Mythology, there is said to be a place called Dragon's Gate. Dragon's Gate resides at the top of a waterfall. It is said if a carp can jump over the waterfall from the waters below, it will become a beautiful dragon.

  • Oily fish
  • Asian carp (a term used for one of 5 different species of carp)

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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