Common Carp - Cyprinus carpio, click for a larger image
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V.I.O.S. - Enschede Hengelsportvereniging
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Carp - Cyprinus carpio
Family - Cyprinidae

This species was imported around the 1300's from China and Japan and has long since become naturalised in the British Isles, it can reach over 1M (3ft) in length and weigh 40Kg (14lb) in ideal conditions.  A heavy broad sided fish, dark with lighter fins, they were originally an olive green colour.  Current descriptions have them as green - brown backs, bronze yellow sides and a yellowish underside.  They can be difficult to spot as their colouration makes them hard to see in the water.

Spawning in May to June, the female ♀ can lay up to one million eggs and is usually accompanied by more than one male ♂ during the spawning season.  The fry hatch in about six days and are adult in three to four years.  They over winter in deeper, muddy bottom of ponds and rivers entering a state of hibernation.  A bottom feeder, carp live on aquatic plants, invertebrates, crustaceans, worms and small animals and can have a life span of over 50 years.  They are also known as mirror or leather carp.

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