Grass carp

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The grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) can grow to a large size and they are a powerful, muscular fish. Find out more.

Grass carp, courtesy of Jack Perks Grass carp, courtesy of Jack Perks

"Grass carp feed predominately on aquatic vegetation but will eat most anglers baits."

Carl Nicholls, fisheries & angling manager

Appearance: Grass carp can be identified by a long slender cylindrical, almost torpedo shaped body with a low flat head and small upturned mouth. They are fully-scaled across the body and have a deep bronze appearance. They can be seen easily during the summer at the surface of the water, warming their backs with their distinctive torpedo shape.

British record: 44lb 8oz (British Record Fish Committee January 2015)

Lateral Line scale count: 42-43 (this is the dark row of scales along the central length of the fishes body).

Lifespan: 10 to 15 years

A non-native species introduced from Asia, some of first introductions to the UK were carried out as an experiment in weed control on the Lancaster Canal with British Waterways and Liverpool University. They spawn in water temperatures well  in excess of 20 degrees C and therefore unable to breed naturally in the UK.

How to catch a Grass Carp

Similar to the Common Carp, Grass Carp can grow large and are powerful, muscular fish. The streamlined shape of the Grass Carp makes them particular good sport on a rod and line. Tackle needs to be strong and durable as these fish like to inhabit weedy locations.

Where to catch a Grass Carp

A small population exists on the Lancaster Canal.

Last date edited: 18 September 2015