Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio): Recognising Common Carp:
  • The Common Carp is usually silvery grey in colour with a yellowish belly. It has small eyes, thick lips with two barbels at each corner of the mouth, and large scales.
  • Carp can live to about 15 years, grow to more than a metre in length and weigh more than ten kilograms.
  • They live in lowland rivers, wetlands and estuaries, and flourish in water enriched with sewage or run-off from agricultural land. They are seldom found in clear, cold waters like mountain streams.








Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio): From introduction to invasion
  • The Common Carp is probably native to Asia but has been introduced throughout the world and now occurs on all continents except Antarctica.
  • They were introduced to the Western Cape in the nineteenth century for angling purposes. They are now found in Western Cape rivers and in wetlands on the Cape Flats.
  • The popular Koi fish is also a type of carp. It is kept as an ornamental fish in fish tanks and ponds.
  • Carp can live in most lowland freshwater habitats. They are omnivorous and grow very fast, competing with other fish species for food and space.
  • When carp feed, they stir up the mud at the bottom of the river or wetland and uproot water plants. Other fish, especially predators, find it difficult to survive in the muddy water.








Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio): Controlling Common Carp
  • Do not release carp (including koi) into rivers and wetlands. Anybody who wants to move or release carp must have a permit from CapeNature
  • People control carp populations by fishing, using seine nets and fish-specific poisons, draining water bodies and removing the fish, and building barriers like weirs to prevent them spreading.
  • Because carp are such effective colonizers of water bodies, removing them requires constant follow-up.









Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio)
Terrestrial plants:      Aquatic plants Terrestrial animals: Aquatic animals
Kikuyu Grass Water Hyacinth Argentine Ant Largemouth Black Bass
Port Jackson Willow Parrot's Feather European Starling Common Carp
Rooikrans Spanish Reed Feral Cat European Mallard