Common Carp: Cyprinus carpio
Large, heavy bodied minnow with arched back small triangular
head tapering to blunt snout; first ray of the dorsal and anal fins
stout, serrated spine; small, subterminal and protrusible mouth
contains no teeth; two pair of barbels on the upper jaw; body color
brassy green on top grading to bronze or gold on sides with
yellowish white belly; typically covered with large, round scales;
not the problem in Florida it is reported to be in other
Occurs only in the Apalachicola and Ochlockonee rivers; widely
distributed elsewhere in North America; first introduced to the
United States in the late 1800's. Native range Europe.
Occurs throughout Apalachicola and Ochlockonee river systems in
variety of habitats ranging from steep natural banks to gentle
banks, dike fields, sand disposal areas, rocky outcrops, and
backwater sloughs with or without submergent vegetation; not nearly
as abundant in Florida as most other states, possibly due to our
short and mild winters.
Spawning Habitats: Typically spawn
when water temperatures range between 65 and 75oF; small
groups gather in shallow, heavily vegetated areas that warm
rapidly; one or more males pursue a female as eggs and milt are
released, but no parental care given; eggs sink and adhere to
vegetation and debris on the bottom; egg production from 50,000 to
Feeding Habits: Feed by sucking up
bottom silt, and selectively removing insect larvae, crustaceans,
snails, and other small food items; adult carp are omnivorous,
consuming both plant and animal foods; organic debris may also be
an important component of the diet.
Age and Growth:
Few live longer than 12 years in the wild, but in captivity have
lived 47 years; growth varies considerable, but generally rapid for
the first few years, then slows. They commonly reach more than 10
Not listed as a sport fish in Florida, but a powerful fighter
equal to most sportfish; ranks third in popularity behind Atlantic
salmon and rainbow trout in Europe; require heavy tackle; best
baits include dough balls, canned corn, bread crusts, and worms
fished on the bottom; no bag or size limits.
Bony but if properly prepared excellent eating; boiling and
smoking are the two primary methods of cooking them.
State record is 40.56 pounds caught in the Apalachicola River; IGFA world record was caught in France weighed 75 pounds, 11 ounces.
Fishing Tips and Facts: