The Common Carp is not a species of invasive Asian carp although it is native to Asia. It is included here for comparison. Common Carp were introduced to North America from non-native populations in Europe in the 1800s and are now widely distributed throughout eastern North America.
They are deep-bodied and vary in colour from silver to olive-green with brass or grey on the back and sides. The belly is yellowish and lower fins are reddish-orange. The Common Carp has whisker-like appendages called barbels near the corners of its mouth. None of the four Asian carp species have these barbels, it is also important to note the long dorsal fin of the common carp.
Common Carp inhabit the Great Lakes from the upper St. Lawrence River to Lake Superior including many inland lakes and rivers.
Common Carp feed primarily on aquatic vegetation and easily adapt to a variety of conditions including clear to murky water.
Common Carp can weigh up to 40 kg and grow up to 1.2 metres. On average Common Carp weigh 2 - 14 kg.
Illustration © Joseph Tomelleri
Origin: Native to Asia but introduced to Canada from non-native populations in Europe.
Diet: Aquatic Vegetation
Life Span: 15-20 years
Size: Maximum: 40 kg, 1.2 meters
Did You Know?
- Easily adapt to a variety of conditions including clear to murky water.
- Has whisker-like appendages called barbels near the corners of its mouth (two on each side).
Size Relative to 6ft Man:
Spread of Common Carp (1830 – 2014)
Map courtesy of the
United States Geological Survey