WHAT IS A CARP?
Believe it or not, this giant, oily fish is actually a member of the minnow family! It also has an undeserved reputation as the bad boy of freshwater seafood. Considered by many to be an invasive species, they are a hardy and adaptable, surviving in environments where food or even oxygen is in short supply. Growing to over 3 feet (1 meter) in length and 130 lbs (60 kg.) in size, they look similar to a goldfish except for their handlebar mustache! One mature carp can lay over 1 million eggs, making them an aggressive invader for any ecosystem. Omnivorous, they are the garbage men of brackish freshwater, sucking anything edible up like a hoover vacuum cleaner. Unfortunately, this prevents other predatory fish from finding their prey (starving them out). Also, in creating more brackish waters when feeding, this lowers the amount of sunlight that reaches underwater plants.
WHERE DOES THE CARP COME FROM?
Native to Asia and Europe, this fish has since been introduced everywhere from North America to Australia. And in every instance, the omnivorous carp has not only survived but thrived as well!
WHEN IS A CARP IN SEASON?
While still sluggish in the early spring, carp will reproduce repeatedly throughout the summer.
IS IT TRUE THAT A LIVE CARP FETCHED ALMOST $2 MILLION DOLLARS (U.S.D.)?
Most carp is used for fertilizer or pet food, however there is one exception. Japanese Koi breeding is treated just as seriously as professional dog breeding. The most expensive Koi sold to date went for $1.8 million!
IS THE CARP ONE OF THE DIRTY DOZEN? (MERCURY)
No but they do contain moderate amounts of mercury compared to other fish. So avoid eating more then 6 servings per month to be safe!