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European Carp PDF Print E-mail


European Carp

Echuca Moama Fishing

European CarpThe Common carp or European carp (Cyprinus carpio) is a widespread freshwater fish distantly related to the common goldfish (Carassius auratus), with which it is capable of interbreeding. It gives its name to the carp family Cyprinidae. Common carp are native to Asia and Eastern Europe. It has been introduced into environments worldwide. It can grow to a maximum length of 5 feet (1.5 meters), a maximum weight of over 80lb (37.3 kg), and an oldest recorded age of at least 65 years. The wild, non-domesticated, forms tend to be much less stocky at around 20% - 33% the maximum size. Koi (錦鯉 (nishikigoi) in Japanese, 鯉魚 (pinyin: lĭ yú) in Chinese) is a domesticated ornamental variety that originated in China but became known to the Western world through Japan.

Although they are very tolerant of most conditions, the common carp prefer large bodies of slow or standing water and soft, vegetative sediments. A schooling fish, they prefer to be in groups of 5 or more. They natively live in a temperate climate in fresh or brackish water with a 7.0 - 7.5 pH, a water hardness of 10.0 - 15.0 dGH, and an ideal temperature range of 37.4 - 75.2 °F (3 - 24 °C).

The common carp, as well as its variants, mirror carp, with large mirror like scales (linear mirror - scaleless except for a row of large scales that run along the lateral line; originating in Germany), leather carp (virtually unscaled except near dorsal fin) and fully scaled carp, is omnivorous and will eat almost anything that it comes across. The common carp is happy to eat a vegetarian diet of water plants, but also insects, crustaceans (including zooplankton), or even dead fish if the opportunity arises.

Common carp have been introduced, often illegally, into many countries. In some countries, due to their habit of grubbing through bottom sediments for food and alteration of their environment, they destroy, uproot and disturb submerged vegetation causing serious damage to native duck and fish populations. In Australia there is enormous anecdotal and mounting scientific evidence that introduced carp are the cause of permanent turbidity and loss of submergent vegetation in the Murray-Darling river system, with severe consequences for river ecosystems, water quality and native fish species.

Efforts to eradicate a small colony from a Tasmania's Lake Crescent without chemicals have been successful, however the long-term, expensive and intensive undertaking is an example of the both the possibility and difficulty of safely removing the species once it is established.

In Victoria (Australia), Common carp has been declared as noxious fish species therefore there is no restriction on the quantity that a fisher can take. In South Australia, it is an offence for this species to be released back to the wild.

An Australian company has made good use of common carp while helping the environment by churning them into plant fertilizer.

Common carp was brought to the U.S. in 1831. In the late 1800s they were distributed widely throughout the USA by the government as a foodfish. However, common carp are not now normally prized as a foodfish in the United States. As in Australia, their introduction has been shown to have negative environmental consequences and they are usually considered to be invasive species. Millions of dollars are spent annually by natural resource agencies to control common carp populations in the United States.

Common carp are believed to have been introduced into the Canadian province of British Columbia from Washington State. They were first noted in the Okanagan Valley in 1912 as was their rapid growth in population. Carp are currently distributed in the lower Columbia (Arrow Lakes), lower Kootenay, Kettle (Christina Lake), and throughout the Okanagan system.

Common carp are extremely popular with anglers in many parts of Europe, and their popularity as quarry is slowly increasing among anglers in the United States. Very specialized baits and tackle have been developed for common carp angling.

Carp is also eaten in many parts of the world both when caught from the wild and raised in aquaculture. In Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia and Poland, a carp is a traditional part of a Christmas Eve dinner.

An egg-layer, a typical adult fish can lay 300,000 eggs in a single spawning. Research shows that carp can spawn multiple times in a season in some areas. The young are preyed upon by other predatorial fish such as the northern pike and largemouth bass.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_carp

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