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Carp

Drawing of a common carp - Duane Raver.Native to Asia, carp were introduced to the United States during the 1880s by the U.S. Fish Commission as a food fish. Carp proved to be detrimental to native fish populations and never became as popular for game or food in North America as they are in Europe and Asia.

Native to Asia, carp were introduced to the United States during the 1880s by the U.S. Fish Commission as a food fish. Carp proved to be detrimental to native fish populations and never became as popular for game or food in North America as they are in Europe and Asia.

Carp have been known to reach a length of 4.5 feet and a weight of 80 pounds! And while it's not uncommon to see carp in the 40 pound range, the typical carp here measures between 1 - 2 feet and weighs between 2 - 10 pounds.

Along the Wildlife Drive, at the Seneca Spillway, you may see carp "pile up" on the canal side. Carp in the canal want to get into the warm, nutrient-rich waters of the Main Pool - water they can sense spilling over into the canal. The refuge hopes to keep the carp out of the pools because carp can stir up silt, reducing the amount of sunlight penetrating the water, preventing plant growth. Underwater plants are essential to the marsh community. When water levels subside and water stops flowing from the Main Pool into the canal, the carp will disperse back into the canal.

Page Photo Credits — Drawing of a common carp - Duane Raver.
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2014
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