Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Unknown Photographer
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The common carp, Cyprinus carpio, is native to Eurasia, but has been widely introduced in the United States, including in water bodies throughout Utah. Carp cause problems in many areas of Utah, where they compete with native fish species and/or destroy habitat used by native fishes and waterfowl.

Common carp are opportunistic feeders, eating mostly insects and other invertebrates. It is not unusual, however, for carp to consume plant matter as well. Young carp eat zooplankton and phytoplankton. Carp spawn during the spring and summer, usually in shallow water. Large numbers of eggs (large females can produce well over 1 million eggs) are released into the water and hatch in one to two weeks. Carp often inhabit slow-moving areas, and they are very tolerant of poor water conditions.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Sigler, W. F. and J. W. Sigler. 1996. Fishes of Utah[:] a natural history. University of Utah Press. Salt Lake City. 375 pp.