• Family: Cyprinidae (Minnows and Carps)
• Other Names: White Amur
• Ohio Status: Introduced
• Adult Size: Typically 36-48 inches, can reach 60 inches or more. Usually weigh 30-50 pounds, can reach over 100 pounds.
• Typical Foods: Will eat a variety of aquatic and flooded terrestrial plants, and fruits and berries that fall in the water. This species does not eat algae.
The grass carp is a long slender member of the minnow family. It resembles the common carp because of its large size and scales. Grass carp differ from the common carp with the lack of a sucker-like mouth, and the absence of barbels on the mouth. Furthermore, grass carp are usually silvery-gray, rather than the brownish-yellow of the common carp.
Habitat and Habits
In their native range in China and other parts of Asia they are found in backwaters and floodplain lakes of large rivers. In the U.S. where they are introduced they are often sold for control of rooted aquatic vegetation and adapt well to small ponds.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Grass carp spawn in flowing water and do not reproduce in lakes and ponds. Reproductive success is largely dependent on an adequate flow of oxygen rich water to suspend the eggs until they hatch. Juvenile grass carp rely on phytoplankton (one celled plants) for food. Grass carp grow rapidly and attain weights of 100 pounds in their native waters in China.