Carp is a common name for various species of freshwater fish of the family Cyprinidae, a very large group of fish native to Europe and Asia. They have been introduced to various locations around the world, though with mixed results.
Izaak Walton said about carp in The Compleat Angler, "The Carp is the queen of rivers; a stately, a good, and a very subtil fish; that was not at first bred, nor hath been long in England, but is now naturalised."
The common carp, or European carp, are native to Asia and Eastern Europe. They have been introduced, sometimes illegally, into environments worldwide, and is often considered an invasive species.Common carp are very tolerant of most conditions, though they prefer large bodies of slow or standing water and soft, vegetative sediments. They can typically be found in small schools, although larger carp often lead a solitary existence. They natively live in a temperate climate in fresh orbrackish water with a 7.0 - 9.0 pH, and a temperature range of 35.0 - 85.0 °F. Common carp are extremely popular with anglers in many parts of Europe, and their popularity is slowly increasing among anglers in the United States (though destroyed as pests in many areas). American fly fishermen have begun to target carp, finding them similar to bonefish in their size and fight.
Silver carp are filter feeders, and thus are difficult to catch on typical hook and line gear.
Although bighead carp reach large size, they are difficult to capture with a rod and reel because of their filter-feeding habits.
The grass carp grows rapidly, and young fish stocked in the spring at 20 centimetres (7.9 in) can reach 45 centimetres (18 in) by fall. Adults often attain nearly 1.2 metres (3.9 ft) in length and over 18 kilograms (40 lb) in weight. According to one study, they live an average of 5–9 years with the oldest at 11 years. They eat up to three times their own body weight daily. They thrive in small lakes and backwaters that provide an abundant supply of fresh water vegetation. Adults of the species feed primarily on aquatic plants. They feed on higher aquatic plants and submerged terrestrial vegetation, but may also take detritus, insects, and other invertebrates. The species was deliberately introduced to control aquatic weeds in the United States in 1963 and in the Netherlands in 1973. It was also introduced into New Zealand along with stocks of goldfish but the distribution is carefully controlled to prevent it from becoming a more widespread pest. Grass carp require long rivers for the survival of the eggs and very young fish, and they have become very abundant in the large rivers of the central United States. Grass carp are strong fighters on a rod and reel, but because of their vegetarian habits and their wariness, they can be difficult to catch.