Common Carp illustration
Illustration © Joseph Tomelleri

Common Carp

(Cyprinus carpio)

Although invasive and native to Asia, Common Carp is not considered one of the four Asian carps. This profile is for comparison purposes. 

ommon Carp were introduced to North America from non-native populations in Europe in the 1800s and are now widely distributed throughout eastern North America.

Physical Description

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. 

Preferred Habitat

Common Carp inhabit the Great Lakes from the upper St. Lawrence River to Lake Superior including many inland lakes and rivers.

Diet

Common Carp feed primarily on aquatic vegetation and easily adapt to a variety of conditions including clear to murky water. 

Size

Common Carp can weigh up to 40 kg and grow up to 1.2 metres.  On average Common Carp weigh 2 – 14 kg.

Common Carp illustration
Illustration © Joseph Tomelleri

Quick Facts

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).

Height compared to 6ft person

Confused with Carp: Common Carp