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Bighead carp
Scientific classification

and others

A carp is any of various freshwater fish of the family Cyprinidae. The common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is the most common and best-known species of carp.

Introduction of carp to North America

Carp, native to Eurasia, were introduced into North America to great fanfare as "the world's finest fish" in 1877. The original shipment of 345 live fish were released in ponds in Druid Hill Park in Baltimore, Maryland. Later, surplus populations were released in Babcock Lakes in Monument Park, Washington, D.C.. This was a project of Rudolf Hessel, a fish culturist in the employ of the United States Government. There was substantial favorable publicity and carp were widely introduced throughout the United States.

Results of the introduction of this exotic species seemed promising as carp readily adapted to their new environment, spreading rapidly throughout any drainage area they were introduced to. One of the myths about carp is that they eat pond vegetation. They do, but in very limited amounts. They are also claimed to eat the spawn of other fish. This is fallacious, as there is absolutely no evidence of this happening. Tales of carp muddying waters are true; however, it is doubtful that they can make water turbid enough to be harmful to other fish. While tasty when grown in good water, carp can be riddled with small bones in unpredictable locations.

Despite having food and angling value that is celebrated in most parts of the world, in the U.S. and Australia, carp are viewed unfavorably. Carp have taken much of the blame for the loss of native species in the U.S. However, native fish populations were suffering even before introduction of carp. Over pressured freshwater fisheries are in fact the reason carp were originally stocked. Carp simply have an ability to survive in water that has been polluted by years of unregulated industrial discharge better than many sensitive native species. Carp extermination practices often take place, such as poisoning all fish in the lake then later re-introducing desirable fish. Because of the carp's hardiness, these efforts have been historically unsuccessful.

The carp has not yet gained gamefish status in the U.S.; however, the carp is one of the hardest fighting freshwater fish to be found in the world. Europe in particular enjoys carp as a top angling resource. U.S. opinions may soon change due to new events and organizations that celebrate carp as a game fish. In 2005, the World Carp Championships are being held on the Saint Lawrence River in New York state. Teams from all over the world will compete in this 5 day tournament with the additional bonus of a $1,000,000 payout if any of the competitors breaks the New York state record of 50lb 4oz.

Types of carp

pl:karp vi:Cá chép


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