The Common carp is eaten around the world, and has been introduced into lakes and rivers worldwide. It was stocked into US waters around 1880. Read our page on the History of Common Carp in North America to learn more.
This fish tolerates some salt water, and eats plankton, insects, and plants. The common carp stirs up sediments at the bottom of rivers and lakes during feeding, which reduces habitat for other fish that need clean water and plants to survive. They can live in water polluted by sewage or agricultural runoff. This fish is considered a "nuisance" fish because it makes life more difficult for native species but it hasn't completely changed the feeding structure of our lakes and streams. This fish is not listed as one of the four invasive Asian carp species, nor do they reproduce as quickly as the four Asian carp.
Maximum length is approximately 43 inches
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Did You Know?
At Lake Itasca, the elevation of the Mississippi River is 1,475 feet above sea level. It drops to sea level at the Gulf of Mexico. More than half of that drop occurs within the state of Minnesota.