Carp - Grass
- Can reach lengths of more than 5 feet, weight can reach more than 80 lbs.
- Eyes sit even with the mouth
- Large scales that appear crosshatched
- Shorter dorsal fin than goldfish or common carp
Illustration by Joseph R. Tomelleri
USDA APHIS PPQ - Oxford, North Carolina, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org
A threat to the Great Lakes!
Grass carp feed on plants, consuming up to 90 pounds of food a day. The fish can only digest half of the food and expel the rest, contributing to algal blooms.
Grass carp can destroy weed beds used by native fish for spawning and nursery areas and damage wetland ecosystems and waterfowl habitat.
Habitat: Preferred habitat for grass carp are quiet, shallow waters. When temperatures decrease, deeper waters are used. Grass carp are tolerant to low levels of salinity, so they may occasionally enter brackish water.
Diet: Obligate herbivores - consume between 20% and 100% of their body weight per day
Native Range: Eastern Asia from the Amur River to eastern Russia and China south to West River of southern China
U.S. Distribution: Grass carp have been recorded in 45 states in the U.S. They have not been reported as introduced to Alaska, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island, or Vermont.
Potential Means of Introduction: Dispersal, unauthorized stocking or release, escape from commercial aquaculture.
Status and Strategy for Grass Carp Management This document provides in-depth information about Grass Carp in the State of Michigan including identification, distribution, management, and control options.
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