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By Harry Goodliffe
Some Common Misconceptions about Carp
BY EVAN CARTABIANO - B.S. M.S & MATTHEW HOWARD
CARP CAUSE THE TURBIDITY OF THE WATER TO BE HIGH (CARP MAKE THE WATER MUDDY).
The answer to this question is that it depends on what the physical characteristics of the water are. In smaller ponds with a silt substrate, Common Carp can cause a noticeable impact on turbidity if high enough concentrations of fish are reached (Barton and Kelton 2000). However, Fletcher et al. (1985) found “no association between high carp densities and high turbidity” in several larger water bodies and concluded that hydrologic changes were to blame and water level fluctuation reduced the amount of water plants, further exacerbating the issue. This would be applicable to many of the larger reservoirs and rivers in the USA.
Looking at everything as a whole, Common Carp can cause a increase in turbidity in some systems if that system has a substrate that is conducive to be suspended in the water column. The existence of Common Carp is not the only factor of making the water muddy, and wind and sediment type (Lougheed et al. 1998), as well as boat traffic (Anthony and Downing 2003) are all significant factors that often produce huge effects on water clarity regardless if Common Carp are in the water or not. The effects of boat wakes in particular are striking, with up to a 50% increase in turbidity over up to 56% of the lake (Anthony and Downing 2003). In general, hard substrates such as gravel produce significantly less turbidity than clay or silt (Crivelli, 1983).
Another consideration is eutrophication. Eutrophication is an excess in nutrients, especially Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P), in a body of water that ultimately leads to a surge in algal growth. These algal blooms can cause incredibly destructive effects such as increased turbidity and asphyxiation through oxygen crashes. Eutrophication can occur through a variety of sources; human activity is the main source. Run-off water from agricultural land (or lawns) containing fertilizers that are rich in nutrients are a large cause, as well as large urban areas, sewage and industrial discharges (Ansari & Gill, 2013).
CARP RUIN THE NESTS OF SPAWNING BASS AND THIS CAUSES A PROBLEM.
Do carp eat bass eggs? Wolfe et al. (2009) conducted an experiment in which Largemouth Bass were stocked into a controlled environment, both with and without Common Carp. The results showed that juvenile bass stocked into enclosures containing common carp survived at a higher rate than bass that were stocked without Common Carp. The experiment was then repeated with older juvenile bass and the results were the same. The bass had a higher survivability in the presence of Common Carp. The study also found that during the experiment, Common Carp were observed feeding in the clay bottomed enclosures but egg predation on largemouth bass eggs appeared to be minimal or absent, perhaps as a result of male bass guarding the nests. Male bass also fan the nest with their tails to prevent the accumulation of silt over the eggs (Wolfe et al. 2009). These findings indicate that Largemouth Bass can successfully spawn with Common Carp with little or no negative effects. The findings also indicate that carp pose little or no risk to the survivability of largemouth bass young.
CARP EAT ALL OF THE WEED WHICH DAMAGES SPAWNING SITES FOR THE BASS.
The impact of Common Carp on aquatic vegetation is varied with some studies finding an no impact (Drenner et al. 1997, Fletcher et al. 1985) and others finding one (Crivelli, 1983). It is worth noting some aspects of Largemouth Bass biology as well. Bass nests are typically found in shallow water in substrates such as sand, soft mud and gravel (Roberge et al. 2001; Moyle 2002; McPhail 2007). Largemouth Bass often nest next to weeds or other structure, but do not nest on weeds.
CARP OVERTAKE A WATER CAUSING PROBLEMS WITH OTHER SPECIES.
Carp overtaking a water is never a good thing, just like it is never good for Largemouth Bass to take over a water, or Crappie to take over. The result is a stunted population and reduced fish condition, growth rate and maximum size - and poor fishing. How this impacts other species depends on many factors, and which species interaction is examined. While Common Carp do not feed on other fish or fish eggs intentionally, Common Carp can, at high densities, increase the turbidity of the water, at least in shallow silt bottom ponds (Breukelaar 1994; Roberts et al. 1995). This can impair the feeding on sight feeding predators such as Largemouth Bass or Pike and result in decreased growth rate of these species. It is worth noting however that Common Carp eggs are preyed upon by many smaller species (Bajer et al. 2012), which in turn provide food for the predatory species.
There are a huge number of studies on Common Carp, looking at many aspects of biology, ecology, and cultivation. Many studies conducted in both the USA and Australia have been conducted with the ultimate goal of Common Carp eradication in mind. Like with any other fish species, Common Carp can causes issues in some situations and under these situations management is required.
However, under many, perhaps most, situations Common Carp have little or no effect on other species and other factors are the cause of undesirable environmental conditions. The points discussed here are a small part of the topic and are simply a starting point for a larger work that is in progress.
Anthony, J. L., & Downing, J. A. (2003). Physical impacts of wind and boat traffic on Clear Lake, Iowa, USA. Lake and Reservoir Management, 19(1), 1-14.
Ansari, A., & Gill, S. (2013). Eutrophication: Causes, Consequences and Control, Volume 2. Springer Science & Business Media.
Bajer, P. G., Chizinski, C. J., Silbernagel, J. J., & Sorensen, P. W. (2012). Variation in native micro-predator abundance explains recruitment of a mobile invasive fish, the common carp, in a naturally unstable environment. Biological Invasions, 14(9), 1919-1929.
Barton, D. R., Kelton, N., & Eedy, R. I. (2000). The effects of carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) on sediment export from a small urban impoundment. Journal of Aquatic Ecosystem Stress and Recovery, 8(2), 155-159.
Breukelaar, A. W., Lammens, E. H., Breteler, J. G. K., & Tatrai, I. (1994). Effects of benthivorous bream (Abramis brama) and carp (Cyprinus carpio) on sediment resuspension and concentrations of nutrients and chlorophyll a. Freshwater biology, 32(1), 113-121.
Crivelli, A. J. (1983). The destruction of aquatic vegetation by carp. Hydrobiologia, 106(1), 37-41.
Drenner, R. W., Gallo, K. L., Edwards, C. M., Rieger, K. E., & Dibble, E. D. (1997). Common carp affect turbidity and angler catch rates of largemouth bass in ponds. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 17(4), 1010-1013.
Fletcher, A. R., Morison, A. K., & Hume, D. J. (1985). Effects of carp, Cyprinus carpio L., on communities of aquatic vegetation and turbidity of waterbodies in the lower Goulburn River basin. Marine and Freshwater Research, 36(3), 311-327.
Lougheed, V. L., Crosbie, B., & Chow-Fraser, P. (1998). Predictions on the effect of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) exclusion on water quality, zooplankton, and submergent macrophytes in a Great Lakes wetland. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 55(5), 1189-1197.
McPhail, J.D. (2007). The Freshwater Fishes of British Columbia. University of Alberta Press. 620 pp.
Moyle, P.B. (2002). Inland Fishes of California. Univ. Calif. Press, Los Angeles, Calif. 502pp.
Roberge, M. H. M., Slaney, T., & Minns, C. K. (2001). Life History Characteristics of Freshwater Fishes Occurring in British Columbia, with Major Emphasis on Lake Habitat Requirements. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Marine Environment and Habitat Science Division, Cultus Lake Salmon Research Laboratory.
Roberts, J., Chick, A., Oswald, L., & Thompson, P. (1995). Effect of carp, Cyprinus carpio L., an exotic benthivorous fish, on aquatic plants and water quality in experimental ponds. Marine and Freshwater Research, 46(8), 1171-1180.
Wolfe, M. D., Santucci, V. J., Einfalt, L. M., & Wahl, D. H. (2009). Effects of common carp on reproduction, growth, and survival of largemouth bass and bluegills. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 138(5), 975-983.
By Harry Goodliffe
Where could I bowfish within 30 min of maple grove
By Ted Thornton
I am renting a lakehouse on Lower Prior Lake early July with my family from CA. What recomendations are out there for some easy fishing that require the minimim of gear. Also any thoughts on trapping Crawdads....
Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)
By Sunset Lodge · PostedHello from the NW Angle!
Water temperatures are starting in the low 70’s in the morning, reaching mid to upper 70’s in the evening.
Minnesota walleye action can be hot running deep diving crank-baits straight, down rigging or lead core. Soft bottom areas can also be worked with spinners and a night crawler. Fish have been favoring gold on bright days and orange, chartreus or pink in low light. Many larger northern pike this last week in the boat via crank-baits just outside of rock reefs and points.
Canadian walleye fishing has been more productive away from reefs and points in soft bottomed areas. The best method is to pull a spinner to find concentrations along the bottom and switch to jigging to fill out limits.
Musky attitude in Canada varies day to day. Plenty of fish are still being caught in shallow weeds including a couple of 50+ giants this past week. Fish are also being caught in more traditional mid-summer spots such as rock reefs and points. The most productive baits this week were crane baits or other flat baits, buck tails and top waters.
Until next week,
By BigVwalters · PostedGot on a pretty decent bite this weekend. Lots of quality eating size fish 14-18" mostly, a few bigger ones. Fish were in main basin steep drop-offs in 20-30 feet. Crawlers and leeches were working. Weather was beautiful all weekend. Can't wait to come back up in August!
By PSU · PostedWe did okay in Frazer over the weekend. Some nice 15's and 16's and tons of the smaller walleyes. For some reason I usually catch the smaller ones clean, but I throat hooked a ton this weekend. Just couldn't feel their bites, so I'm guessing they had plenty of time to try to swallow the bait. 17-22 worked best for us with Lindy's and seemed leeches outperformed crawlers about 2-1
By Chill62 · PostedAfter a long 13 days straight of work we got out and did a little fishing! Felt AMAZING to get back out on the water. We chased panfish Saturday evening and pretty much struck out and went Sunday with the old man and got into a big ol mess of panfish. Buddy of mine opened up his jig company in Vergas, MN and it's called Panfish Pirates, check him out on facebook. Hes got a soft plastic called the Kraken that I have never seen before and boy did the fish eat them up! We didn't use any live bait during the 6 hour trip out fishing and we landed hundreds of gills and crappies. We landed 6 gills that were 9.5" sadly we couldn't find any big crappies even though the girlfriend lost one at the boat that was over 13". Fish were on the edges of the weeds either lilly pads or down in the cabbage. This Kraken has 3 legs behind it and it has natural bouyance within the plastic and it allows the jig to be swam through the weeds slower which was key yesterday. Dad was in the front of the boat and a few times he had to stop and put his rod down because his arm hurt from fighting the fish and a few times his finger tips were hurting from taking the fish off of his hook but regardless he had a blast fishing. We used 6 mm jigs tipped with the Kraken pitching from 4-14 feet of water. Few times we were vertical jigging and my big blue gill pictured below came vertical jigging in about 12 feet of water. All the gills were returned safely and only 6-7 crappies were taken home for dad to have a fish fry. Pike must have been starving because I had about 6 blue gills get attacked by pike at the boat as i was bringing them in!
By redlabguy · PostedOkay, I’m not into gore. I’ve only had to do surgery on one hook and that’s enough. PSU, I’m wondering how you’re doing. Cliff offered good advice. In the Frazer Bay Area, bobbers are my only means of catching fish of size. I t seems like the dinks are dominating the reefs. Spinners can pick up fish near structure. I was looking back at my logs recently and late July has always been tough. Dick
By riverrat21 · PostedIve been out a few times as well..have tried from the harbor all the way up to boyscout...have been getting a few everytime out but has been slow for me....been trolling crawlers with big colorado blades..have caught fish on flats by barkers,between the bridges,and out from clyde area....got 6 cats accidentally while trolling boards by the community hole south west side of spirit lake...water clarity still sucks in the harbor..a bit better the farther up river u go...has it been kinda slow for everyone?????ive been doing better on fish lake.lol