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Common Carp

Cyprinus carpio

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If you think you have found an aquatic invasive species:

  1. take photos
  2. note:
    • the exact location (GPS coordinates)
    • the observation date
    • identifying features
  3. contact us to report it
An illustration of Common Carp, which is not a species of Asian carp. The locations of the long dorsal, anal and pelvic fins, the presence of a single dorsal fin and the presence of barbels, are indicated on the illustration. Illustration by © Joseph R. Tomelleri

An illustration of Common Carp, which is not a species of Asian carp. The locations of the long dorsal, anal and pelvic fins, the presence of a single dorsal fin and the presence of barbels, are indicated on the illustration. Illustration by © Joseph R. Tomelleri

Common Carp is not a species of Asian carp, and is included here solely for the purpose of comparison. Common Carp is a large, deep-bodied fish, varying in colour from silver to olive-green, brass or grey on the back and sides. Its belly is yellowish and the lower fins are orange-red. It has a single dorsal spine and its cheeks and gill covers are partially scaled. Unlike the Asian carps, Common Carp has whisker-like appendages called barbels near the corners of its mouth. Common Carp, native to Asia, were introduced to North America from non-native populations in Europe. They are distributed widely throughout eastern North America. In Ontario, they inhabit the Great Lakes region from the upper St. Lawrence River to Lake Superior, and many inland lakes, reservoirs and rivers. They thrive in warm, shallow lakes and rivers that contain an abundance of aquatic vegetation, their primary food. They adapt to a variety of conditions, tolerating all types of bottoms and water clarity ranging from clear to murky.

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