Asian carp may be one of the United States’ biggest pests, but they’re actually captivating to read about! Breeding in waters all over the world carp are a staple of the diet to some, to others their art, and some just love to sit and watch them play around in carp pools all day! Join us as we discover 25 catchy facts about Asian carp.
Fact 1: The Americanised name ‘Asian carp’ actually refers to several species of fish which are known as cyprinid fishes.
Fact 2: There are about 10 different carps that come under the name Asian carp. These include:
- Common carp
- Grass carp
- Silver carp
- Amur carp
- Bighead carp
- Largescale carp
- Black carp
- Crucian carp
- Mud carp
Fact 3: In North America during the 19th century carp were introduced in the area as some sort of ‘food fish’. This meant that they were used primarily as food for humans or as food for their predators.
Fact 4: In 2011 the Stop Asian Carp Act was introduced. This Act was used to research the feasibility of using hydrological measures to prevent any more growth in the Asian carp population.
Fact 5: The largescale Silver carp is the only carp from the list of 10 carp identified under the Asian carp above that was not cultivated in China.
Fact 6: Cyprinids or ‘cyprinidae’ are freshwater fish. In this family you’ll see the likes of carp, minnows. In fact, there are over 3,000 known species in this family, and they form the largest vertebrae family in the water!
Fact 7: Alligator gar were introduced to waters near Tennessee and Illinois to try and control the Asian carp population growth in 2016.
Fact 8: The Silver carp gets easily spooked, and when it does it can jump to a tremendous height of 3 metres in some cases. These carps tend to be anxious when they hear or are near boats. Unfortunately, where these carp live is where a lot of boats will actually go too.
Fact 9: The Goldfish, which is also included under the name Asian carp, is the fish that is usually won at the fairground, and the one that is usually kept as a pet!
Fact 10: The Largescale Silver carp is a native of Vietnam.
Fact 11: Common carp, which are another species of carp that come under the Asian carp name, are usually found in Eastern Europe and Asia. They are often seen in the eutrophic waters!
Fact 12: Chinese literature and culture often depict Asian carp. One story says, 2,000 years ago, in the Han period, a gentleman was thought to have sent a pair of crap to his wife as a gesture of love – this is now a popular lyric. Other stories claim that if a carp called ‘yulong’ can climb the cataract at Dragon Gate they will transform into a dragon! Both remain very popular throughout the country today!
Fact 13: The ‘4 Domesticated Fish’ that are included under the Asian carp name are the silver, grass, bighead, and black carp.
Fact 14: According to those who have eaten some kind of Asian carp, it tastes something like cod mixed with a crabmeat, and scallops flavor.
Fact 15: In Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake they use electro-fishing to control the population of Aisan carp in the area! This was introduced in 2019.
Fact 16: Grass carp is a delicacy in Hangzhou cuisine! Here the fish is served with a sweet-and-sour style sauce (we won’t tell you what happens to the carp before it arrives on the plate). Generally, if you choose to cook this kind of carp at home it can be cooked by steaming or by pan frying it!
Fact 17: The ‘4 Domesticated Fish’ which are the silver, grass, bighead, and black carp, are all important parts of traditional chinese medicines and cuisine.
Fact 18: The carp tirelessly failing and finally jumping over the Dragon Gate and becoming a dragon, is used as an idiom in China. Generally, the story is used to teach children about success, and how success cannot be achieved without perseverance!
Fact 19: Carp are able to lay thousands of eggs at a time. They tend to lay their eggs in fast running water too, which can only mean one thing… their eggs get spread around in their hundreds exceptionally fast, meaning the population grows at an incredibly fast pace!
Fact 20: There is a tournament in Bath, Illinois, that is all about catching jumping carp in nets! The tournament is designed to decrease the amount of Asian carp in the area. Asian carp are seen as a bit of a nuisance in the US, as they eat the food of local fish, amongst other issues.
Fact 21: Asian fish can actually endanger other water creatures! Not only do they eat the food of other creatures in the water, but they also eat the actual creatures themselves. For example, some snails and mussels are eaten by these carps! And there’s not always a huge population of these little guys around as it is in some parts!
Fact 22: Some carp individuals can weigh as much as 110 pounds!
Fact 23: In China it is not uncommon to see Asian carp being used in images and in designs. The carp are glorified in these images and adorned in gold and shimmering colors.
Fact 24: A standard adult Asian carp can be up to 31 inches long!
Fact 25: Asian carp, particularly the Silver carp is known for hurting boaters. Because the Silver carp is frightened easily by boaters it jumps out of the water, and in doing so it regularly comes into contact with a person travelling on the boat. As you can guess, there tend to be a few black eyes and plenty of headaches!