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European Carp (Cyprinus carpio) Photographs and Information

European carp have a small mouth with no teeth and one pair of barbels at each corner of the mouth.  The body scales are large and there are 33-40 lateral line scales.   The dorsal fin is long with 3 or 4 spines and 15 to 24 rays.  There is a serrated spine on the anal fin.  Usually carp are olive green to golden along the back with paler sides and a brassy or silvery yellow belly.  Colour variations are quite common in wild populations.

Carp is a common name for various species of freshwater fish of the family Cyprinidae, a very large group of fish native to Europe and Asia.. European carp are an introduced species in Australia, and are now distributed throughout southern Australia.

They can be found in many water conditions, including fresh or brackish water, but prefer slow or standing water such as ponds and slow moving rivers, they school (congregate in groups) of 5 or more.  Their preferred temperature range is 35˚F - 85˚F.

They prefer warm waters in lakes and slow flowing rivers.  They usually live over soft, muddy river beds, in areas with soft submerged vegetation.  European carp are tolerant of a variety of environmental conditions, including high salinities and low oxygen concentrations.  They gulp air at the surface of oxygen depleted waters.


European carp have been declared noxious fish in Australia and New Zealand because carp damages the natural environment of native fish as their habit of grubbing through bottom sediment for food uproots and disturbs vegetation.  In Australia and New Zealand carp must be killed when caught.

Management is therefore directed towards eradication and restricting the spread of populations. Total eradication is impossible, but in an attempt to reduce the species spread there are prohibitions on its use as live bait, its return to the water and its transfer between states.

wpeC.jpg (3446 bytes)

Scientific Name Cyprinus carpio
Location NSW, SA, VIC
Season All year round
Size Up to 1 metre
Australian Species Code 37 165003
Taste, Texture Bland to mild taste, firm texture.


Nutritional Information
For every 100 grams raw product
for Carp fillet.

Kilojoules 617 (147 Calories)
Cholesterol 24 mg
Sodium 57
Total fat (oil) 0.5 g
Saturated fat 31% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 18% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 51% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 36 mg
Omega-3, DHA 10 mg
Omega-6, AA 29 mg

Fishing for Carp:

Fishing for Carp in other countries is a popular pastime.  In Europe, even when not fished for food, they are eagerly sought by anglers, being considered highly prized coarse fish that are difficult to hook. The UK has a thriving carp angling market. The sport is well respected across the continent of Europe and has spawned carp angling holiday companies and a multimillion-pound market.

Good carp fishing can be found in many different types of water. Many find rivers to provide some of the most challenging, but rewarding fishing. Being that many rivers connect directly with the ocean, it has been said that perhaps the largest carp in a given river may reside in the stretch between the beginning of the tidal influence and where the salinity becomes intolerable to the carp.      

Bait for Carp includes: canned corn, boiled baits (Boiled baits or boilies are balls of soft paste basically made from semolina, eggs, fishmeal, fish off-cuts and various flavours and colouring. The paste is rolled into balls and boiled in a pan until they become hard.),  dough balls, nuts, meats - processed or raw such as sausage meat, liver, steak, canned dog and cat food, fish and seafood such as prawns, shrimp, cockles, mussels, crayfish, nippers, yabbies, hard vegetables such as potatoes, cheese, maggots and worms

Cooking Carp:

carp fillet, fillet of carp, european carp fish fillet

Colour of Raw Fillet:

White to dark pink.



Fat Content:



Distinct fishy flavour, but bland.

Microwave Cooking Times for Fish
- Fish fillets 5 minutes per 500g on medium-high, +50 seconds more for thicker fillets, or until flesh flakes
- Whole fish - Large 6 minutes/750g on medium
- Whole fish Small 3-4 minutes on medium

Commercial Fishing for Carp:

Exporters, Importers & Processors, Wholesale & Agents of Carp



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