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Grass Carp Ctenopharyngodon idella


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Grass Carp
credit: FEXX

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Family: Cyprinidae, Carps and Minnows view all from this family

Description The grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) is a herbivorous, freshwater fish species of family Cyprinidae, and the only species of the genus Ctenopharyngodon. It is cultivated in China for food, but was introduced in Europe and the United States for aquatic weed control (see, e.g., Ponchatoula Creek). It is a large cyprind native to eastern Asia, with a native range from northern Vietnam to the Amur River on the Siberia-China border. It is a fish of large, turbid rivers and associated floodplain lakes, with a wide degree of temperature tolerance. Grass carp are usually thought to enter reproductive condition and spawn at temperatures of 20 to 30° C (68 to 86° F), but have been shown to sometimes spawn at temperatures as low as 15° C (59° F).

In the United States, the fish is also known as white amur, a name developed to avoid use of the name "carp", which has derogatory connotations in North America. The name derives from the Amur River, where the species is probably native, but has never been abundant. This is not to be confused with the white amur bream (Parabramis pekinensis), which is not a particularly close relative as Cyprinidae.

Dimensions Up to 3'3" (99 cm); 100 lbs (45.4 kg).

Habitat Rivers & streams, Lakes & ponds.

Range Plains, Great Lakes, New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Southwest, Florida, Texas, California, Northwest.