19 Fin-tastic Facts About The Grass Carp For Kids

Grass Carp Fact File

The grass carp is commonly called white amur and waan ue. The invasive species of grass carp imported from East Asia has established itself from coast to coast, and is considered one of the most difficult species to catch. While the carp's reputation as prey-worthy fish has changed over the past ten years, the former 'scrap fish' are now 'golden bones.' This is because its more enigmatic cousin, the grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), can be a tough nut to crack. Just being within the throwing range of an extremely careful 'grass' can be an accomplishment in itself, and since they are predominantly herbivores, these fish are less likely to eat a fly. For more and more fly fishers who want to prove their skills, grass carp offers an exciting challenge. Since carp are good for bonefish, grass carp must allow it, stalking, snagging, and landing double-digit grass is an accomplishment that not many anglers have accomplished. Grown as food in China, it was introduced in Europe and the United States to control weeds (aquatic plants) to save aquatic habitat and has become the highest reported species in aquaculture in the world, more than five million tons per year.

If you feel interested in reading about invasive species of grass carp, you can also read about other interesting fish like grey triggerfish and common carp.

Grass Carp

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Aquatic plants, detritus, insects, and invertebrates

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

Million eggs

How much do they weigh?

2.2 lb (25 kg)

How long are they?

15.74-19.68 in (40-80 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Silvery to dark grey

Skin Type

Wet, slimy scales

What are their main threats?

Humans, birds, snakes, large fish

What is their conservation status?

Not extinct

Where you'll find them

Rivers, oceans, lakes


Eastern Asia, northern Vietnam, Amur River, Texas




Ray-finned fishes

Scientific Name

Ctenopharyngodon idella





Grass Carp Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a grass carp?

The grass carp is a type of ray-finned fish that is native to eastern Asia.

What class of animal does a grass carp belong to?

The grass carp belongs to the class of fish and is a species of carp.

How many grass carp are there in the world?

There is no information on the population of aquatic grass carp.

Where does a grass carp live?

In its native range, it appears in lakes, ponds, and backwaters of large rivers but prefers large, slow-moving, or static bodies of water with vegetation.

What is a grass carp's habitat?

Grass carp are native to the great rivers of eastern Asia, from the Amur River in China and southern Siberia to the West River in China and Thailand. As this species is edible, it is cultivated almost all over the world. Because it can be used for the biological control of aquatic vegetation, grass carp have been legally introduced into at least 35 states in the United States. In Texas, triploid (sterile) species have been widely introduced into small private ponds and some public aquatic bodies. The diploid (non-sterile) population was established by legal experiments at Conro Lake and fugitives from illegal stockings. As we all know, this species of carp breed in the Galveston Bay area of ​​the Trinity River.

Who does grass carp live with?

They mostly live in small groups.

How long does a grass carp live?

The grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) have a lifespan of 15 - 20 years in wild aquatic habitats.

How do they reproduce?

Females species lay large numbers of eggs in the spawning season, especially in free-flowing rivers (aquatic bodies), which are then fertilized by males. The eggs must stay suspended in the water until they hatch, or they will die. Ideally, when the eggs hatch, they will be in a well-wooded area with lots of zooplankton.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this species is Not Extinct. When maintaining grass carp populations by restocking aquatic biological control measures such as harmful weeds, fishers are usually required to return live and unharmed catches to the water.

Grass Carp Fun Facts

What does grass carp look like?

Grass carp have a slender, plump, torpedo-shaped body shape. The final mouth is slightly inclined. The lips are tight, not fleshy, and without tentacles. The complete lateral line of the grass carp contains 40 - 42 scales. The wide, striped pharyngeal teeth are arranged in a formula of 2, 44, and 2, the dorsal fin has 8 - 10 soft fin rays, and the anal fin is closer to the tail than most carps. The body color is dark olive, slightly brownish-yellow on both sides, white abdomen, and slightly contoured scales. Grass carp grow very fast.

Fun facts about grass carp.

How cute are they?

To fish lovers, they would be considered pretty adorable.

How do they communicate?

Fishes generally communicate using motion, gesture, and pheromones.

How big is a grass carp?

The typical length is approximately 23.5-39.5 in (60-100 cm). The maximum length is 79.2 in (200 cm) as compared to the smallest fish in the world that is a dwarf minnow. Therefore, it makes grass carp 19 - 20 times bigger than the dwarf minnow.

How fast can a grass carp swim?

No information is available on grass carp swimming speeds. The fastest fish in the world are considered to be sailfishes.

How much does a grass carp weigh?

Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) are rapid growers and gain weight quickly. Their body weight is up to 55 lb (25 kg). This makes them 12 times heavier than the marine angelfish.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the male and female species of grass carp.

What would you call a baby grass carp?

The baby of grass carp is known as juvenile carp or fry.

What do they eat?

As the name suggests, grass carp eat higher aquatic plants and submerged grasses (large rooted plants instead of algae) in water bodies; when necessary, they also eat debris, insects, and other invertebrates as food. Larger fishes are their natural predators.

Are they poisonous?

They are not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

It is an invasive species, and due to feeding habits, they are good in the aquatic vegetation in the wild.

Did you know?

Carp is used against aquatic plants (weeds) in your ponds!

Due to their feeding behavior, they are used under special restrictions in Texas to help manage aquatic plant problems. Many of the problematic water plants in Florida and texas are exotic plants, with few natural insect or disease control measures, and usually cause problems in access, navigation, flood control, irrigation, and aesthetics. Since chemical herbicides and mechanical treatments are expensive alternatives and often cause secondary problems, biological control agents (such as triploid grass carp) can provide useful tools. Grass carp fishes have three sets of chromosomes instead of the usual two sets, making them functionally sterile. The triploids are produced artificially. Through the use of hormones, the eggs are peeled and mixed with the semen, then the fertilized eggs are subjected to hydrostatic pressure, and finally, the fertilized eggs are suspended in a well-ventilated container until they hatch. Before being approved for use, the resulting fish must be individually tested using a Coulter counter in the certification process developed by FWC biologists of Florida and Texas. They also disturb the aquatic habitat by reducing sources of food and spawning areas for native fish.

Catching and eating grass carp

The first challenge in catching grass carp is getting close enough to the fish to launch them, as they can be very creepy. Although some anglers swear by the patterns of poplar grass or fluff, the flies in the trout box are good enough. If these fish don't feed on it, try heavier hare-eared nymphs or small caterpillars, which will land softly and quickly reach the bottom. The grass carp catch is not so much a concrete knockoff as a good display. In some countries grass, carp is an integral part of fish farming, and fish meat is an important source of protein for human consumption. This fish has flaky white flesh and is not overly strong in flavor but is often very bony.

Grass carp's meat is tender, the texture is smooth, warm, and there is almost no 'fishy smell.' Most people in India find it interesting, but some people may not have 'spinal problems' like all fish like grass carp. Some people find thorns annoying when they enjoy a delicious meal.

Grass carp and ponds

Never store grass carp in ponds where there is a high risk of leakage of water. Grass carp cannot breed in pond water, but they can breed in some rivers, natural deep ponds, and great lakes. Grass carp can destroy or destroy natural local wildlife and fish habitats by eliminating aquatic plants and indirectly increasing water turbidity.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these brown trout facts or Atlantic cod facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable grass carp fish coloring pages.



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