18 Types of Carp Species Explained

There are over 2000 species of Cyprinidae. 

The name “Carp” is not a proper taxonomic rank but is used to describe numerous species across several genera within Cyprinids.

In this article, we focus on the most popular types of Carp.

Common Carp

18 Types of Carp Species Explained

The Common Carp, also known as European Carp, is native to Europe and Asia. 

It originated from the Danube river and since then has been domesticated and spread worldwide.  

Common Carp in its native state is considered a vulnerable species, but as domesticated, it has proven to be highly invasive, often out-competing many native fish species.

Description

Wild Common Carp are slimmer than the domesticated ones.

The body length of wild Common Carp is usually quadruple of the body height and oscillates between 15 – 32 inches. The weight ranges between 4,5 – 31 lbs.

The domesticated type can grow twice as fast as the wild one and usually achieves a length of around 47 inches and weighs over 88 lbs.

If given enough space and nutrition, domesticated Common Carp can live well over 30 years of age.

Common Carp can sometimes be mistaken for Bigmouth or Smallmouth Buffalo, although they are not related.

The body of Common Carp is a yellowish-golden color, covered with a mesh-like scale pattern. They have a forked tail, a single dorsal fin, and two pairs of barbels.

An interesting fact about Common Carp is its ability to interbreed with Goldfish (yes, the one you can keep in the glass bowl).

Common Carp is known to crossbreed with Goldfish, and the product of this mating is Kollar Carp.

Habitat

The Common Carp is very tolerant. The perfect water temperature is between 73 – 86F, but Common Carp is known to live in colder climates where the temperature goes below freezing. 

Common Carp can survive winter under the ice as long as it has enough water.

They are known to prefer slow-flowing or standing water with vegetative sediments. 

Common Carp usually travel in schools that count five or more fish.

Common Carp can also survive in brackish water with a salinity of up to 17.6ppt and waters with very low oxygen levels, where they gulp air from the surface.

Diet

Common Carp are omnivorus fish. They can survive on an aquatic plant diet but prefer to scout the bottom sediment for worms, crustaceans, insects, and crawfish.

How to catch

There are multiple rigs and Carp baits available, but the most known by anglers method for Common Carp is fishing with a bobber or feeder. 

Commonly used rigs would include method and basket feeders and hair rig with boilies.

Popular Carp bait would be homemade dough, bread, corn, and worms.

You can also catch Common Carp on a fly. This method is not yet as well known and used, but it’s also effective.

Mirror Carp

18 Types of Carp Species Explained

Although many anglers think that Common and Mirror Carp are the same fish, that’s not exactly the case.

The Mirror Carp is a variety of Common Carp, believed to have been developed by monks by selective breeding of Common Carp to reduce the number of scales and make it easier to prepare fish for consumption.

Description

Mirror Carp has a compressed, elongated body, with the broadest part being near the dorsal fin. The color varies from green, yellow, golden-brown to silvery.

The most recognizable characteristics of Mirror Carp are its scales. They are not, like with Common Carp, uniform in shape and organized across its body. The scales are in varied sizes, unorganized, and resemble mirrors, hence the name of the Mirror Carp.

Mirror Carp can reach 3 ft 8 inches in length and weigh up to 100 lbs, with few record species weighing 1 – 2 lbs more. 

They are known to grow relatively fast and are not considered great farming fish because of the amount of food needed to keep them alive.

Given good conditions in their habitat, Mirror Carp can live up to 60 years of age. 

Habitat

The Mirror Carp can be found in freshwater abundant with aquatic vegetation. Mainly in the backwater of rivers and streams and water reservoirs. 

Mirror Carp, like Common Carp, are very tolerant to a diversity of conditions. This tolerance allows them to quickly adapt to and populate many areas people introduced them to.

Mirror Carp can survive in waters with a low level of oxygen, and they can survive cold winters under the ice as long as the water is not entirely frozen.

Mirror Carp can also inhabit brackish waters.

Diet

Mirror Carp’s diet is omnivorous. They can consume insects and their larvae, worms, zooplankton, seeds and stalks of aquatic plants, and also birds, snakes, and mollusks.

How to catch

Just like with Common Carp, Mirror Carp can be caught on sweetcorn, bread, peas, marshmallows, boilies, worms, and flies.

Linear Carp

18 Types of Carp Species Explained

Linear Carp is a rare occurrence in the wild, and no one knows for sure its origin, although few researchers in Poland managed to breed Linear Carp from Common Carp in closed habitats.

Linear Carp is one of the four different primary forms of Common Carp, along with Mirror, Leather, and fully scaled Common Carp.

Description

Linear Carp’s distinguishable feature is a very even lateral line of scales on its side. 

Most often, those are the only scales on the Carp, hence why many anglers mistakenly take it as a Mirror Carp pattern.

The scale pattern by the “SS,Nn,” and “Ss,Nn” genotypes. It is a different DNA than one of Mirror Carp. Therefore one can say those are two different Carp

Fins of Linear Carp are smaller compared to Common and Mirror Carp with a smaller number of rays. 

There is also a difference in the number of gill rakers. Linear Carp usually has 4-5 gill rakers less than Mirror or Common Carp.

Linear Carp has a more elongated body than the other two. 

Linear Carp are usually yellowish-green in color. Their average weight is around 10 – 20 lbs, but it’s not uncommon to find one over 40lbs in weight. 

The survival rate of Linear Carp is relatively low, and they don’t stand cold waters very well. 

Habitat

Linear Carp is relatively popular with anglers in the UK, and many commercial fisheries stock it often.

Although some anglers caught them on rare occasions, it’s not common to find a Linear Carp in the wild.

The Linear Carp prefers more shallow waters between 3 – 12 ft deep, with lines of mature reeds and overhanging trees. 

Diet

Linear Carp, like Mirror and Common Carp, is an omnivore. It feeds on small crustaceans, insects and insects larvae, detritus, and aquatic plants. 

How to catch

The best bet to catch a Linear Carp is with a bobber (float). 

The bait list to use on Linear Carp contains sweet corn, boilies, maggots, and bread dough.

Grass Carp

18 Types of Carp Species Explained

Grass Carp is one of the species of Asian Carp. It’s native to the Amur River estuary from Vietnam to China and Eastern Siberia. 

It is cultivated mainly for food in Asia, but it has been introduced worldwide for aquaculture to control aquatic weeds.

Description

The Grass Carp has a long, chubby body covered with outlined dark olive, yellowish-brown scales with a white belly.

Grass Carp have broad and ridged teeth that help them with their mainly herbivorous diet.

It doesn’t have barbels at its mouth like Common or Mirror Carp.

The Grass Carp usually grows very fast, and it can reach a length of 6ft 6 inches and weigh 99lbs. 

They don’t live as long as Mirror or Common Carp, usually 5 – 9 years old, but the oldest recorded specimens are over 15 years old and reside in Silver Lake in Washington.

Habitat

The Grass Carp prefer slow-flowing or standing waters. They reside in lakes, ponds, pools, and backwaters of rivers and streams, where they can find plenty of aquatic vegetation. 

Grass Carp stay in shallow waters as long as temperatures are higher. If the temperature drops, they travel to deeper parts of the water.

The fish prefers a water temperature around 77F but can withstand

Although wild adult Grass Carp prefer to live in still or slow-flowing waters, they spawn in fast-moving water, preferably long rivers, where their eggs can be kept from sinking by water turbulence. 

Grass Carp don’t usually travel too far except for breeding, although some young Grass Carp were found 1000km from their original spawning grounds. 

They can adapt relatively easily to brackish waters with salinity not exceeding 9ppt and are known to travel between rivers through slightly salty waters. 

Diet

Adult Grass Carp prefers to feed on tall aquatic plants and submerged earthly vegetation. The Grass Carp can also eat on small insects and detritus.

The studies on Grass Carp show that the single fish can consume up to 60lbs 13oz of vegetation per lb of fish per year.

The feeding habit of Grass Carp can lead to a more significant production of phytoplankton and zooplankton and, therefore, to better growth of Rainbow Trout. Unfortunately, it also reduces natural cover and bigger predation on Trout by Double-crested Cormorants. (Hubert, W. 1994.)

How to catch

Grass Carp are strong fighters when caught on the hook, but they are difficult to catch due to their vegetarian diet. 

An excellent way to reel Grass Carp in would be to fish with a flyrod or corn, maggots, marshmallows, boilies, or bread dough.

Crucian Carp

18 Types of Carp Species Explained

The Crucian Carp is a native fish to Europe and Central Asia. As a very hardy fish, its habitat can range from the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia to the Black Sea region.

There are no reported specimens in North America, although according to studies, Crucian Carp were present in the waters of Chicago in the early 1900s.

Recent studies show that the population died out some time ago.

Description

Crucian carp are related to Goldfish and share some of their features, hybrid specimens closely resemble both species.

You can recognize adult Crucian Carp primarily by their well-rounded fins and their body color. It rarely varies from their uniform dark green back and gold-silver belly with reddish or orange fins.

The shape of a Crucian Carp may vary depending on the habitat they occupy. In small ponds with no predators, they seem to be leaner and bullet-shaped. 

In lakes and rivers with a significant number of threats, they grow more expansive and disk-shaped to prevent predators from swallowing them.

Crucian Carp don’t grow very big. Their average body length is around 6 inches, and their weight is about 4.4 lbs. 

Although in good conditions they can easily reach bigger sizes. The largest reported specimen was 25 inches long and weighed 11 lbs.

They live to around ten years old.

A fascinating trait of Crucian Carp, not seen in many vertebrates, is the ability to adapt to anoxic conditions. 

During periods of lack of oxygen in the water, Crucian Carp can perform anaerobic respiration. In the short term, fermentation occurs within their liver and muscles, allowing fish to breathe without oxygen for an extended time and producing ethanol as a primary metabolic end product.

Habitat

The Crucian Carp’s preferred habitats are ponds, lakes, and slow-flowing rivers, mainly in shallow waters with abundant aquatic vegetation for cover.

Crucian Carp can withstand severe conditions, like very low water pH (even as low as 4), a wide range of temperatures (from below 32F for a few days up to 100F), and a least 6 hours in hypersaline waters of 16 ppm.

In Europe, Crucian Carp is often considered a pet fish and kept in private fish ponds.

Diet

Crucian Carp is an omnivore and is very active during the summer months when it feeds on invertebrates from the bottom of a water body, zooplankton, phytoplankton, and detritus.

During winter months, the feeding frenzy quietens down or sometimes stops completely when low temperatures slow down Crucian Carp’s metabolism and force it to halt biological functions.

How to catch

The best method of fishing for Crucian Carp is a rig with a float (or bobber). 

The most effective bait is dough balls, pea dough, semolina balls, bread, red and blood worms.

Leather Carp

18 Types of Carp Species Explained

Sometimes thought of as Mirror Carp, Leather Carp is its own species. It’s an artificially bred scaleless type of Carp.

When breeding Mirror Carp, breeders noticed specimens that lacked scales altogether, and their skin resembled Leather. 

The production of Leather Carp is challenging. Due to its lower red blood cell count, Leather Carp is prone to sickness, has a poor survival rate, and grows very slowly. 

Additionally, the offspring of two Leather Carp dies within few hours after hatching.

One can only breed Leather Carp from the mating of two Mirror Carp, and even then, it’s not a common occurrence.

It is highly unusual to catch Leather Carp in the wild.

Description

Even though people claim the Leather Carp should not have any scales, they usually have a few scales around the dorsal fin and a few more at the root of their tail.

An entirely “naked” specimen is rare.

Leather Carp is often mistakenly taken for Mirror Carp. Their DNA differs slightly, and therefore they are scientifically two separate species.

Leather Carp is usually dark brown, brown-orange, or green on its dorsal side and yellowish-brown or yellowish-white on the belly.

The body type resembles that of Mirror Carp except for a number of rays in the anal fin, which are fewer than on Mirror Carp. They also have a longer dorsal fin, which takes up almost the whole length of their backs.

They grow to 15 – 30 inches long and weigh between 4 – 30 lbs, although the record Leather Carp caught in the UK was over 54 lbs.

The oldest recorded Leather Carp in captivity was 47 years old. The life span of the wild Leather Carp is still unknown.

Habitat

The Leather Carp usually inhabits large lakes and ponds, slow-flowing streams, and backwater of rivers.

Leather Carp usually stay in schools of five or more fish and prefer to stick together with Mirror and Common Carp.

Despite being less hardy than Mirror or Common Carp, they are pretty adaptable fish. Leather Carp can withstand water temperature up to 96F.

Leather Carp prefers soft bottomed, shallow waters, like muddy grass or sand with vegetative sediments.

Diet

Like most Carp species, Leather Carp are omnivorous and feed on aquatic fauna and flora alike. Their preferred food are small mollusks, aquatic insects, crustaceans, and seeds. 

Leather Carp is fond of young roots and shoots of aquatic plants and often dig them up from the soft bottom. 

Because of its low blood cell count, Leather Carp doesn’t grow as fast as other Carp species, it needs to feed all year round, and therefore it’s more active in winter months than Mirror or Common Carp. 

How to catch

There are more chances of catching Leather Carp in winter, and it’s not much about technique but more location and luck. 

The best bait is semolina balls, corn, sweet corn, sweet peas, boilies, pellets.

F1 Carp

18 Types of Carp Species Explained

F1 in fish genetics is the first filial generation of offspring of closely related species. They combine characteristics of both parents.

The F1 Carp is a hybrid cross between Common and Crucian Carp (and sometimes brown Goldfish).

They are hardier, more immune, and grow faster than both Crucian and Common Carp. Therefore they are the perfect fish to stock commercial fishing ponds.

Description

F1 Carp strongly resembles Common Carp with its hunched back and overall body shape. It doesn’t have two pairs of barbels like Common Carp. Instead, it has two very small barbels at the corners of its upper lip.

The body color is very similar to that of the Crucian Carp. The golden hue is sometimes confusing for inexperienced anglers, but the telltale signs differentiating the two are the barbels and the number of lateral line scales. 

The F1 Carp has 35 or 36 lateral line scales, and the Crucian Carp has 32 or 34 lateral line scales and no barbels.

The F1 Carp doesn’t grow very big. Usually 2 – 4 lbs, with the biggest recorded specimen weighing 10 lbs.

As a hybrid fish, the F1 Carp is sterile, but apart from being bred in captivity, it can also be produced in the wild, where Common and Crucian Carp cross in natural conditions.

Habitat

The F1 Carp is most common in stocked lakes and ponds as a popular sport fish. 

In the wild, one can find them in places inhabited by Common and Crucian Carp alike, mostly in lakes and ponds and slow-flowing rivers and backwaters.

Diet

Like its parents, F1 Carp is an omnivore and feeds on aquatic plants, insects and their larvae, and small invertebrates.

The F1 Carp feeds year-round, but the most active months are in spring and summer, when they are the most aggressive feeders and eat most anything.

How to catch

The best time to catch F1 Carp is during the summer months when they eat a wide variety of food. 

The best bait for F1 Carp would be red worms, blood worms, maggots, dough balls, and pea dough.

Ghost Carp

18 Types of Carp Species Explained

The Ghost Carp (or Ghost Koi) is another Carp hybrid. It’s a cross between Common or Mirror Carp with Koi Carp. 

Depending on the desired coloration, the cross could be with Purachina Koi to produce White Ghost Koi or Yambuki to get Yellow Ghost Carp. 

The hybrid originated in Japan, where Koi Carp and Common (and Mirror) Carp were kept on rice and irrigation fields for mosquito control and started to breed with each other.

Description

At first, in the ’80s, Ghost Koi came only in a dark, almost black color. When they swam close to the bottom of the lake, only their metallic hue gave away their position. They looked like ghosts passing by, hence the name.

After years of breeding, Ghost Carp come in many colors, from dark grey and olive green through orange, yellow, and golden to bright white, and the color develops as the Carp ages.

They often resemble Koi or Common and Mirror Carp, but the most significant distinction would be the metallic hue on their heads, fins, and the edges of their scales.

Interestingly, even though it’s a hybrid, Ghost Carp can reproduce with each other, but part of the offspring can revert to parental types, Koi or Common or Mirror Carp.

Ghost Koi is sturdier and more immune to illness than Koi Carp and, in the wild, can easily compete for food with Common Carp and Mirror Carp.

The average weight of Ghost Carp is 6 – 15lbs, but there are record species registered at 65 – 94 lbs. They usually grow to around 18 – 26 inches, with few specimens reaching up to 48 inches.

The life span of Ghost Koi varies between 9 and over 45 years, depending on habitat.

Habitat

Because of its good looks, Ghost Carp is considered a pet fish in many countries, and people keep them in big aquarium tanks, house ponds, and private lakes and fisheries.

That’s not to say you can’t find them in the wild. On rare occasions, you can find the Ghost Carp in places where Koi and Common or Mirror Carp reside in lakes, ponds, and slow-flowing rivers. 

The best temperature for Ghost Koi is between 65 – 75F. They can tolerate waters with low oxygen but don’t usually swim in low pH (perfect conditions would be 6,5 – 9).

Diet

Ghost Carp is an omnivore, feeding on insects, insect larvae, and crustaceans like most Carp species. 

They also won’t say no to aquatic vegetation, and on occasions, they will also eat fish eggs.

How to catch

The Ghost Koi is mostly an ornamental fish, but some fisheries stock them for anglers because of their rarity. 

They are thought to be very intelligent fish and prized by fishermen because of the challenge they present.

The best way to catch Ghost Carp is with the standard Carp bait, i.e., sweet corn, sweet peas, boilies, and pellets.

Black Carp

18 Types of Carp Species Explained

Black Carp, also called a Black Chinese Roach, belongs to what’s known in the US as Asian Carp species, together with Silver, Bighead, and Grass Carp.

Out of Asian Carp, the Black Carp is the rarest and most prized in China, reaching the highest prices for its meat. The Black Carp is cultivated for food and Chinese medicine.

Description

The Black Carp is one of the biggest Cyprinids in the world, reaching up to 6.2 ft long and 240 lbs weight.

As young fish, Black Carp highly resembles Grass Carp. It’s usually challenging to tell them apart. 

The adult Black Carp is blackish-brown on the dorsal part and bluish-grey or white on its belly, with blackish-grey fins.

The body of Black Carp is more cylindrical than that of Grass Carp, although the type is also laterally compressed. The Black Carp also sports pharyngeal teeth (throat teeth resembling human molars) to crush the shells of mollusks.

Same as Grass Carp, the Black Carp doesn’t have barbels at its mouth. 

Black Carp can live over 15 years. 

Habitat

Black Carp is an invasive species in the US. It inhabits the lower reaches of lakes and rivers, although it needs turbulent waters in large rivers to reproduce.

Diet

Young Black Carp feed on zooplankton, insect larvae, and detritus. 

When they grow bigger, their primary diet comprises mollusks like snails, clams, and mussels.

State of Indiana’s DNR pays a “bounty” of $100 for each Black Carp since they are considered a threat to some endangered species of mollusks.

How to catch

Most traditional baits will work great for Black Carp. That includes red worms, boilies, semolina dough, and sweet corn.

It is also possible to catch Black Carp by bow fishing.

Silver Carp

18 Types of Carp Species Explained

The famous “flying carp,” Silver Carp, is native to China and Eastern Siberia waters, through Amur River in the north to Xi Jang River in the south.

It was brought to the US in the ’70s to control algal growth in wastewater treatment facilities but escaped from captivity and became a highly invasive species.

Description

As the name suggests, Silver Carp is silver in color, which is most significant when the fish are young. 

With the growth of the fish, the color turns darker on the dorsal side, usually greenish-silver or blackish-silver with a silver belly.

Silver Carp has tiny scales covering its body and no scales at all on its head.

The most noticeable trait of Silver Carp is their low-positioned eyes, which makes it very unlikely you will confuse this fish with any of the native Cyprinids.

Silver Carp usually lives in large schools and is known in the US to leap out of the water when startled.

The Silver Carp can reach the average length of 24 – 39 inches, although there were few recorded specimens of 55 inches.

The maximum recorded weight for Silver Carp is 110lbs.

Habitat

The best habitat for Silver Carp is in the standing waters of rivers, canals, and lakes.

It can easily survive in waters with temperatures as low as 43F and as high as 82F.

Silver Carp are sturdy enough to survive in waters with low oxygen and brackish waters with a salinity of 12 ppt. 

Diet

Silver Carp feeds on phytoplankton, zooplankton, and detritus. They seem immune to blue-green algae, but Silver Carp feeding in the area where the toxic algae grow often becomes hazardous to eat.

Silver Carp are filter feeders and can filter particles as small as 4um, thanks to their specialized feeding apparatus.

Their gill rakers resemble sponge-like filters producing mucus to assist in picking out small particles.

An interesting fact about Silver Carp is that they have no stomachs, and therefore they must feed constantly.

How to catch

Your best bet to catch Silver Carp is the typical Carp gear of hook and line, with the most successful being slowly disintegrating in water dough balls suspended on tiny hooks under a bobber.

Silver Carp is also an excellent target for bow fishing when fish is often shot in the air after being scared by passing speed boats.

Bighead carp

18 Types of Carp Species Explained

The most popular Carp in Asia, Bighead Carp, is one of the most intensively exploited fishes in aquaculture having the fifth-highest production of all freshwater fish worldwide.

This Carp native to Asia was introduced in the US alongside its cousin Silver Carp, and both are considered highly invasive species. 

Description

The Bighead Carp closely resembles Silver Carp, although the distinction is easily recognizable.

The Bighead Carp has a large and scaleless head and a big mouth with no barbels. 

Bighead Carp is covered in small scales, and its color is usually silver-gray with many dark small spots across the length of its body.

It is a rather big fish reaching an average size of 2ft, with the largest recorded specimen of 4 ft 9 inches. 

Bighead Carp can weigh up to around 88 lbs.

The Bighead Carp grows very fast, which is a perfect trait when aquafarming.

Bighead carp mostly live in schools and are known to jump out of the water when disturbed, but not as frequently as their cousins, Silver Carp.

Habitat

The preferred habitat of Bighead Carp includes large rivers with slow currents and lakes with a depth of at least 6ft. 

You can also find a Bighead Carp in river floodplains and reservoir tailwaters.

They thrive in colder waters with temperatures between 35 – 39F but can easily survive temperatures up to 78F. 

Diet

Same as Silver Carp, Bighead Carp is a filter feeder with no stomach and needs to feed constantly.

Bighead Carp consumes a wide variety of zooplankton, detritus, small invertebrates, and algae.

They usually feed close to the surface.

How to catch

To catch Bighead Carp, you can apply the same method as for Silver Carp.

They are also a good sport for bow fishers. Although not often shot while leaping out of the water, there is a big chance of hitting one close to the surface where they feed on plankton.

Koi Carp

18 Types of Carp Species Explained

The origin of Koi Carp starts in China and Japan. 

The Common Carp was kept in rice fields to reduce the number of mosquitoes, and after being farmed in restrictive conditions for close to 2000 years, it started to mutate to produce different coloration. 

The name Koi has developed from the Japanese word “goi,” meaning “carp.” 

Description

Koi Carp comes in hundreds of different varieties, and each variety is classified into 16 groups.

The varieties of Koi Carp are distinguished by color, pattern, and scales.

There are primary colors of Koi Carp like white, black, red, yellow, blue, and cream, but possible colors are virtually limitless, and new varieties are still being developed. 

The Koi Carp can grow up to 4ft long and can weigh around 35 lbs, although the largest registered Koi Carp was 91 lbs.

Even though Koi Carp is a descendant of Common Carp, their body type is different.

Koi Carp tends to grow longer than Common Carp, with a less tight body and not as tall in the midsection. Also, the head and tail are more narrow than that of Common Carp.

The dorsal fin on Koi Carp does not have spines, allowing it a smooth and flowing look while swimming.

Koi Carp have been released into the wild on every continent except Antarctica, and they reverted to the natural color of Common Carp within few generations.

Koi Carp is known to live very long, usually well over 50 years, but it is also not uncommon to find 100-year-old Koi Carp. The oldest Koi Carp ever recorded was 226 years old.

Habitat

Koi Carp are coldwater fish, but they prefer temperatures of 59 – 77F. Their immunity drops with temperatures below 50F. 

They usually dwell in shallow waters, but in places that get colder during winter months, you can find Koi Carp spends more time in depths below 5ft.

Considering the bright coloration of Koi Carp, they are an easy target for predators, and they are not very common in the wild.

Most Koi Carp are kept as ornamental fish in specifically designed outdoor and indoor pools and ponds. 

In the wild, they prefer to stay in ponds, lakes, and very slow-flowing rivers.

Diet

Koi Carp are omnivores, like most Carp species. 

In captivity, they eat a wide variety of food, including insect larvae, algae, but also peas, lettuce, and even watermelon.

One can “train” Koi Carp to come to the surface for feeding. It is very common practice with Koi Carp bred for shows.

How to catch

Because of their beauty, some anglers are not very keen on fishing for Koi Carp.

There are, however, places where you can fish for Koi Carp. The most popular method is fly fishing. 

“Untrained” Koi Carp are skittish, but they are easy to spot in muddy waters because of their bright colors.

Prussian Carp

18 Types of Carp Species Explained

Prussian Carp originally comes from Siberia and Middle Europe but was introduced widely in Asia and North America.

They are considered a highly invasive species. Prussian Carp breeds and spreads fast. 

Its eggs can survive in the digestive systems of birds and other fish and hatch after being disposed of in feces.

Description

Prussian Carp resembles Crucian Carp, but with larger scales and usually has 27 – 32 lateral line scales, and Crucian Carp has 31 – 35. 

Prussian Carp’s color is usually greenish-silvery. They grow up to an average of 16 – 18 inches in length and 4.4 to 6.6 lbs in weight.

They usually live between 5 – 10 years and spawn few times a year. 

Most Prussian Carp are females, and they don’t need a Prussian Carp male to reproduce. Any other Cyprinidae male fish can fertilize the eggs of Prussian Carp, and offspring usually is a carbon copy of the fish laying the eggs.

It is closely related to Goldfish, which was bred from Prussian Carp specimens in imperial China over 1000 years ago for its unique color.

Habitat

Prussian Carp’s favorite places to live are ponds, lakes, and slow-flowing rivers.

Prussian Carp are very hardy fish and can survive a wide variety of conditions. You can find them in waters with low oxygen, eutrophication, and places with poor quality waters like drainage ditches and dugouts. 

Diet

Prussian Carp’s diet comprises plankton, aquatic plants, detritus, and benthic invertebrates.

Prussian Carp also consumes small amphibians, mollusks, worms, and leeches.

How to catch

The best baits for Prussian Carp are red and blood worms, semolina and dough balls, and pea dough.

Mrigal carp

18 Types of Carp Species Explained

Mrigal Carp, along with Rohu and Catla Carp, is considered an Indian or South Asian Carp species. 

Mrigal Carp is native to the rivers and streams of India, and it’s cultivated for food.

Unfortunately, Mrigal Carp fails to breed naturally in ponds and lakes. Hence stocking is very important to maintain populations.

Description

The body of Mrigal Carp is covered with rounded scales, with a “naked” head and blunt snout. 

Mrigal Carp is usually dark grey on the dorsal side with silvery sides and belly. The fins are grayish with orange-hued tips.

Mrigal Carp can reach the length of 24 inches and body mass of 4.4 lbs. 

Habitat

One can find Mrigal Carp in fast-flowing rivers and streams in South Asia. It can also tolerate living in brackish waters. 

Diet

Adult Mrigal Carp is herbivorous and feeds mainly on benthopelagic and potamodromous plankton and algae.

Young Mrigal Carp are omnivorous and eat small insects and insect larvae as well as algae and aquatic flora.

Mrigal Carp usually feeds from the bottom layers of the water.

Rohu 

18 Types of Carp Species Explained

Rohu, also called Rui or Roho Labeo, is one of the Indian Carp species. 

It’s very popular in aquaculture in South Asia, where it originates. 

Description

Rohu is a greyish-silver on the back, silverish on its sides, and white on the belly. Their fins usually have an orange or reddish hue on the edges.

Rohu is considered one of the largest Carp, with a weight reaching 99 lbs and a length of up to 6,6 ft. 

The back and head of Rohu are arched.

Habitat

Rohu inhabits the rivers of Central and Northern India, Pakistan and Vietnam, but has been introduced to some rivers in Peninsular India and Sri Lanka.

Diet

Rohu is an omnivore, although its diet changes with the growth of the fish. 

In the early stages, young Rohu feeds mainly on zooplankton, but they start swapping over to phytoplankton as they grow. 

As an adult fish, Rohu feeds primarily on phytoplankton and submerged aquatic plants.

Catla Carp

18 Types of Carp Species Explained

Catla Carp, like Rohu and Mrigal, is one of the South Asian or Indian Carp.

It’s native to the waters of Northern India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

Description

Catla Carp is a large fish reaching a body length of 6 ft and weight of 85 lbs. 

Catla Carp is greyish-silver on the dorsal side and whitish on the belly, and large, rounded scales cover it.

Habitat 

Catla Carp inhabits deep rivers and lakes. 

Catla Carp feels best in the waters, with temperatures between 77 – 90F, although the minimum temperature comfortable for Catla Carp is around 57F.

Diet

Catla Carp feeds in the midwater and under the surface. Adult Catla Carp is eating mostly zooplankton and phytoplankton, as well as crustaceans, rotifers, and insects.

Mud Carp 

18 Types of Carp Species Explained

Mud Carp is one of the Carp native to Asian waters, mainly Mekong and Pearl River deltas, but also can be found in lakes and reservoirs along these two rivers.

They are omnivores and consume mainly aquatic plants and insects. 

Mud Carp are very popular aquafarming fish, thanks to the low cost of production. 

Fantail Carp

18 Types of Carp Species Explained

Fantail Carp is a mutation occurring in Common, Mirror, and Koi Carp.

The Carp looks like any other of its species except for long, dragging fins.

It’s a very rare type of mutation for Common and Mirror Carp, but for Koi Carp, it’s a different story. 

Koi Carp with long fins is called a Butterfly Koi Carp or Dragon Koi, and it was specifically bred in Japan.

Resources

http://www.fao.org/3/Y2406E/y2406e04.htm#bm4.7

http://www.fao.org/3/Y2406E/y2406e02.htm

http://www.nativefishlab.net/library/textpdf/12558.pdf

https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factsheet.aspx?SpeciesID=514

https://www.fws.gov/injuriouswildlife/pdf_files/Carassius_carassius_WEB_9-15-14.pdf

https://www.in.gov/dnr/fish-and-wildlife/fishing/aquatic-invasive-species-ais/black-carp/