The common Carp, or European Carp, are native to Asia and Eastern Europe.
They have been introduced, sometimes illegally, into environments worldwide, and is often considered an invasive species.
Common carp are very tolerant of most conditions, though they prefer large bodies of slow or standing water and soft, vegetative sediments.
They can typically be found in small schools, although larger carp often lead a solitary existence.
They natively live in a temperate climate in fresh or brackish water with a 7.0 – 9.0 pH, and a temperature range of 35.0 – 85.0 °F.
Common carp are extremely popular with anglers in many parts of Europe, and their popularity is slowly increasing among anglers in Canada and the United States (though destroyed as pests in many areas).
Fly fishermen have begun to target carp, finding them similar to bonefish in their size and fight.
Kirk Deeter, an editor at Field & Stream, goes fly-fishing for carp on the South Platte River in downtown Denver, Colorado, which he says testifies to their ability to adapt to almost any habitat.
“I think carp are maligned here because they’re not considered classic table fare—though they were brought to North America in the 1800s specifically for that purpose”, he says.
“If you want to sight cast to a tailing fish that might be 10 pounds (4 kg) or more, carp are it”.
Carp are also popular with spear and bow fisherman.
They can grow to a length of 1.2 metres (3.9 ft) and the oldest recorded age of a wild fish is 38 years.
The largest recorded carp, caught by British angler, Colin Smith, in 2013 at Etang La Saussaie Fishery, France, weighed 45.59 kilograms (100.5 lb).
The wild, non-domesticated forms tend to be much less stocky at around 20% – 33% the maximum size. In captivity, Cyprinus carpio have lived as long as 47 years.
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