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Carp

Cyprinus Carpio

Carp, which come originally from the west of Asia, are known by the scientific name of "Cyprinus Carpio" and are part of the Cyprinidae family, one of the largest and best known of the Cypriniform order. It was the Romans who introduced them to Italy and then Greece. Monks brought them to France in the Middle Ages to meet their dietary restrictions. They subsequently conquered South Africa in the XVIII century, North America in the XIX and then the other continents. In this third millennium, Carp can be found throughout the globe, from the glacial lakes of Scandinavia to the rivers of New Guinea, as well as in the Aral or Caspian seas.
This distribution shows the adaptability and the robust nature of this fish. It is capable of surviving in widely differing and difficult conditions. Not being very demanding in terms of quality of water it copes very well with low oxygen levels, high and very low temperatures and can also survive in polluted water.
Carp are present everywhere in France today in all sorts of water from the smallest stream to the great lakes, passing through canals and ponds.
 
 

Characteristics of the carp

The guile, mistrust and power of carp are legendary. They are very sought after therefore by amateur anglers looking for a thrill. Fishing for carp has both sporting and technical aspects.
Its huge body is often humped between its head and the start of its dorsal fins. Depending on the species, it will be more or less long and wide. Its relatively big head has a fleshy, protractile mouth with four barbels. The dorsal fin is very long (3 to 4 dorsal spines and 17 to 22 branched rays). This fin, along with the anal fin, has a strong ray equipped with small teeth forming a formidable saw capable of cutting a line. The back is brownish in colour, the sides have a yellowish tinge, the stomach is yellow or a whitish colour, the fins and the tail are generally brown.
Carp have the largest brain of any freshwater fish. They are therefore likely to outsmart the clever tactics of the angler or memorize things that trouble their environment.
 
 

The common carp

Common carp are the main type of carp to be found in European fresh water. Genetic mutations, natural or the result of man's intervention, have led to a degree of typical variation. Two characteristics have particular importance: the type of scales and the colour of the skin.
The type of scaling is determined by two genes, S (Scaly) and N (Nude) present on two chromosomes. And depending on their character, whether recessive or dominant, they give the variety well-known to all carp anglers:
The common carp SSnn et Ssnn
The mirror carp ssnn
The linear carp SSNn et SsNn
The leather carp ssNn et Ssnn
Skin colouring is due to both environmental and genetic factors. Thus, Komen has listed and described red, matt blue, phenotype blonde, blue-grey, white or gold colouring. These are the types of colouring that may be seen in carp in European fresh water.
 
Source of information: Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) and PowerCarp, the online magazine of carp angling