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Grass carp

The grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) can grow to a large size and is a powerful, muscular fish.

Grass carp, courtesy of Jack Perks
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Grass carp feed predominately on aquatic vegetation but will eat most angler's baits.
Carl Nicholls, fisheries & angling manager

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 by British Waterways and Liverpool University. These fish spawn in water temperatures well in excess of 20 degrees Celsius and are therefore unable to breed naturally in the UK.

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. With their torpedo shape they can easily be identified during the summer, at the surface of the water warming their backs.

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 fish's body)

Lifespan: 10 to 15 years

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 particularly 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.


Find a place to fish

Enter a town or postcode into our fishery search tool to find good local fishing spots

Last Edited: 24 December 2020

photo of a location on the canals
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