About Grass Carp

About Grass Carp
The grass carp is a member of the minnow family and is native to the Far East. Conservationists brought the species to the U.S. in the 1960s to control aquatic vegetation in lakes and rivers.
 

Identification

According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the grass carp can weigh as much as 100 lbs. The fish has an oblong body, with a large, broad head and a round belly.

 
 

Geography

The grass carp now exists in as many as 45 states. It lives in ponds, lakes, deep pools, and slow-moving backwaters, as long as sufficient vegetation is available.

Considerations

Because the grass carp consumes plant matter, many pond owners stock their waters with the fish to control weeds. However, according to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, it is illegal in many states to possess this species without a permit.

Function

The grass carp has no teeth at all in its jaw, but makes up for this with a set of teeth in its throat. These pharyngeal teeth chop up the vegetation, algae and small invertebrates that comprise the carp's diet.

Young Carp

The female grass carp requires flowing water in which to lay as many as one million-plus eggs. The young grass carp grows quickly, with some achieving weights of 10 lbs. in just two years' time.

 

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