Cyprinus carpio

Identification Tips:

• Length up to 65 cm
• Body grey to bronze
• Very large scales
• Barbels at corner of mouth
• Dorsal fin: 3 - 4 spines and 17 - 23 soft rays
• Anal fin: 2 - 3 spines and 5 - 6 soft rays
• Caudal fin with 3 spines and 17-19 rays; 4 barbels

Conservation Status:

British ColumbiaCanadaNatureserve
COSEWICSpecies at Risk Act
Introduced SpeciesNot AssessedNone

Information Source: BC Conservation Data Centre:

Life History:

• An introduced species
• Very tolerant of high water temperature (to 35 C), low oxygen and high turbidity.
• Feed on aquatic invertebrates, seeds, aquatic plants and algae by grubbing in sediments.
• Spawn in spring and summer,
• Adults uproot and destroy submerged aquatic vegetation.
• Mature in 3rd or 4th year and may live 10-15 years


• Typically found in large sloughs, ponds and lakes with slow flowing or standing water and soft bottom sediments.
• Spawn in shallow waters in aquatic vegetation.


British Columbia
• Introduced species now found in Fraser Valley, Okanagan Valley, Thompson/Shushwap, Arrow Lakes, Kootenay Lake

• Native to Europe and Asia
• Widely introduced as a food fish and now has near global distribution.

Primary Information Source:
McPhail, J.D. 2007. The Freshwater Fishes of British Columbia. University of Alberta Press. Edmonton, Alberta.