Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio)
This fish is abundant and widely distributed in Iowa. They are native to Europe and were introduced here 100 years ago. It is a large fish, growing up to 50 Ibs or more. They prefer habitats with warm water that doesn’t move much but can be found in almost all bodies of water. They thrive in stretches of water with an over-abundance of nutrients (eutrophic environments) and turbid (unclear, murky, caused by an abundance of debris, particularly sediment, in the water) waters. Carp are omnivores, eating aquatic insects, crustaceans, small mollusks, roots and shoots of aquatic plants. The rooting up of these plants can cause high levels of turbidity in shallow waters. Common Carp are a problem because of their ability to out-compete native fish due to their ability to change their habitat (uprooting vegetation, clouding waters, etc). The biggest eradication method in use today is commercial catching for food-meal companies.