Common Carp

Cyrpinus carpio

The common carp is native to Eurasia. The first reported introduction to the United States was to a pond near Newburgh, New York, in 1832. The fish is now abundant in fresh water here in the Hudson and throughout the country. In Europe, carp are cultivated and stocked as a popular game fish. In the U.S. anglers generally consider them to be a nuisance because carp compete with valued native fish for food and make waters muddy by pulling up vegetation as they feed along the bottom.

The carp is our largest minnow, weighing twenty pounds and more. It may live as long as twenty years, and can survive in polluted waters with little oxygen.

Carp are olive green or brown on the back, with golden yellow sides. At spawning time in late spring and early summer, large adults can be seen splashing around in shallow water as they lay their eggs in thick vegetation.