www.dnr.state.il.us

Pat Quinn, Governor

DNR Links Skip to Content Skip to State Links

 IDNR Home
 IDNR Home (new)
 Agency Offices
 Disabled Outdoors
 Freedom of Information Act
 Get Involved
 Grant Info
 Great Lakes Restoration
 Hunting
 Fishing
 License / Permit / Register
 Kids & Education
 Law Enforcement
 Mandatory Safety Programs
 Lodges / Leasing
 More Links
 Outdoor Recreation
 Parks & Recreation
 Press Releases
 Publications
 State Museums
 World Shooting & Recreational Complex
 DNR A to Z

 DNR
 Illinois

  Common carp  

Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Exotic Species:
common carp Cyprinus carpio


The common carp may grow to a maximum size of 48 inches and over 80 pounds. The average weight, however, is two to five pounds. This fish may live eight to 15 years. Two barbels (whisker-like projections) are present at each side of the mouth. The front of the dorsal and anal fins contains a spine with saw-like projections. The dorsal fin is long. The upper body is olive while the caudal and anal fins are reddish. Teeth are present in the throat.

The common carp may be found statewide in Illinois. It lives in rivers, lakes and ponds. It is often found near brush piles and weedy areas in the water. The common carp is active in the evening and morning. It reaches maturity when a length of 12 to 15 inches is attained, usually at the age of about three years. Spawning occurs April through August. The female deposits over 50,000 sticky eggs over submerged objects. Eggs hatch in 12 days. No parental care is given to eggs or young. The common carp eats both plant and animal material (insect larvae) it finds as it roots in mud on the bottom. It may feed in water so shallow that part of its back sticks out. A native of Asia, the common carp was brought to America in 1876. It was introduced to Illinois in 1879.

Exotic Species Photo Gallery | Exotic Species Intro Page | Wild About Animals | Wild About Plants

Kids & Education

 New This Month
 Online Order Form
 Student Pages

Copyrightę 2014 Department of Natural Resources
Accessibility    Contact    FAQs    Podcasts    Privacy    Social Networking