Carp fish

Carp fish. Description, features, species, lifestyle and carp habitat

Even seasoned fishermen might never have heard of such rare fish as carp. It is found only in the waters of the three seas of our country — the Black, Azov and Caspian. More precisely, in the mouths of rivers and streams flowing into these seas. Carp belongs to the family of cyprinids, it is a fresh-water ray-finned fish.

Represents the genus of roach. The city of Novy Oskol chose this fish for its image on the coat of arms, as it used to be abundant there. Currently in the Red Book of Russia in the category «status is not defined.» He was also recorded in the International Red Book.

In 2007, the restoration and reproduction of this fish began on the basis of the Medveditsky fish hatchery. It is chosen for this purpose, as it is located next to the main natural sites of carp spawning.

Description and Features

Carp fish large. It can grow up to 75 cm in length, and weighs 6-8 kg. The body is elongated, slightly thickened on the sides. Outwardly, it looks like an oblong bar. The muzzle is blunt rounded. The forehead is wide, convex. The back and head are dark gray, a little with a green tint, the sides have a silver color, the abdomen is white.

It differs from roach in a large number of scales on the longest line of the side (up to 65 scales can be counted in one row) and a pointed swimming bladder, surprisingly elongated in a spiral at the back. The fins on the back are dark, the rest are grayish.

The tail is well defined, forked and also dark in color. The eyes are small, but quite beautiful, black «drops» in silver rims. The upper jaw protrudes slightly above the lower. They called him a carp because his pharyngeal teeth are very strong and sharp, they can easily cut or cut something.

Males entering the river for spawning are covered with cone-shaped epithelial tubercles. Generally carp in the photo looks like a fish model elaborately made of silver. Its scales with a metallic shimmer lie very clearly and evenly, the sides sparkle with a fresh shine, and the back is a little blackened, like darkened silver. Sample for heraldry.


The carp has only two subspecies:

1. Actually myself carp inhabits in the basin of the Black and Azov Seas.

2. The second is Kutum living in the Caspian, in the southern part. This species is smaller in size and weight. But it was the Caspian Kutum that most likely was the progenitor of the Black Sea-Azov carp. Prefers slightly salted and fresh water. Size is 40-45 cm, less often 70 cm. Weight is usually up to 5 kg, although rare individuals grow up to 7 kg.

Kutum used to be commercial fish harvested on an industrial scale. Now its population has drastically decreased. The reason is environmental pollution and poaching because of valuable caviar. Now it is caught along the coast of the Caspian Sea in the region of Azerbaijan, as well as in the Kura River basin.

Both carp and kutum are considered migratory fish, although they also have living forms. Passing fish are those that spend part of the life cycle in the sea, and part in the rivers flowing into it. Residential fish are those that have chosen one type of reservoir for their habitat and all life forms.

These two species differ not only in size and different places of life, but also in the way of spawning. The Caspian Kutum swallows eggs in the water next to plants or tree roots, and carp is meticulous, it spawns only on the river bottom with stones and pebbles and loves the flow faster.

Lifestyle & Habitat

The Caspian Sea is considered to be the original birthplace of carp. It was from there that it spread to the Azov and Black Seas. Carp in the Volga is rare. Most often in spring, with schools of accompanying fish — bream, roach, etc. But he does not rise high on the river.

In the Ural River does not come across at all. The reason for this, most likely, is that these rivers are rather slow. And our swimmer chooses fast rivers with a rocky bottom and cool water. It is also difficult to see in the Dnieper and in many tributaries; it does not fall above the thresholds at all. From the tributaries of the Dnieper, he chose some, like the Desna and the Svisloch, where the current is faster.

But he is often found in the Dniester, Bug and in the Don. Carp in the Don River meets often, comes to Voronezh. He can look into the tributaries — Udu and Oskol, but is already considered a rare fish here. However, as in the Kuban.

Other countries besides Russia are also familiar with it. For example, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Moldova, Turkey, Turkmenistan. But there it is often called «kutum». It has not been studied enough, its lifestyle is little known. To a greater extent due to the fact that he was always a passing fish.

And now, besides, he has become a rarity. It is kept in flocks on the coast, in the open sea and at the mouth of rivers. At the end of summer or the beginning of autumn, he goes a little higher into the rivers, spawns, spends the winter here and comes back. It is characterized by timidity, caution and speed.

The menu is rather scarce; it eats mollusks, worms and insects. Small crustaceans, flies, dragonflies, and water insects are all that they can catch. This fish is very shy, reacts to any movement or sound. Where danger has been discovered, it may not appear for a long time.

Therefore, the ritual of hunting is particularly careful. Carp fish usually go hunting in the early morning or at night. The whole process takes place at a sufficient depth. It does not rise to the surface. The carp generally tries unnecessarily not to approach the surface of the water. As for spawning, he selects desalinated areas of the sea for «cuisine» or goes into the river.

Reproduction and longevity

The carp is ready for spawning at the age of 4-5 years. At this time, he becomes sexually mature. Its size reaches 40cm. He enters the river, selects areas with fast and clear water. By the way, the water temperature should be no more than 14 ºС. He likes cool enough water. At the bottom there should be stones and pebbles. Spawning time can be both in spring and autumn.

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Before courtship, a male carp becomes very elegant. Its fins acquire a beautiful pinkish-bluish tint. He himself is “decorated” with solid pearly tubercles. All this to attract a girlfriend. After mating games, he takes on his former appearance; he still does not need this beauty anymore.

By the way, at one time it was believed that only for this purpose these bumps on the upper body of the male are needed. However, it turned out that he had growths not only for beauty. He “polishes” them with the surface of the stone, on which the expectant mother will leave her eggs, cleansing him of other people’s traces and dirt.

Then the girlfriend begins to rub heavily on this place, sometimes even injures herself. Each female at this time has at least three gentlemen. They all try to help her fertilize, not even distracted by food. Together and in turn, they press her firmly against the stone with the help of growths. Carps are very prolific, in one season they can lay up to 150 thousand eggs.

Kutum spawning is slightly different. Reproduction occurs in water without a current, or with a slow current. Soil does not matter. Larvae are left where they could catch — on stones, in reed thickets. Carp live about 10-12 years. True, individuals came to 20 years old.


Carp and kutum have much tastier and more valuable meat and caviar than roach. therefore carp fishing very gambling, although limited. This fun is doubly harder due to the fact that he is extremely careful. If you scare him away, do not wait for him to quickly return to this place. He may not come there for several days, even if everything suits him there.

Since he is a lover of cool «baths», you need to catch him at a decent depth. Because of this, the fishing process is quite laborious. Most often, this fish is caught using float or bottom devices. Carp (kutum) is distinguished by infrequent bite and great stubbornness when playing.

We take float gear based on your experience of the fisherman and fishing conditions. To catch offshore fishing rods of 5-6 m in size are taken. For long castings, fishing rods with a large number of pass-through rings on legs are suitable, they are called match rods. The carp is very careful and careful, special devices may be needed. Do not forget about top dressing and the nozzle, they play an important role in catching this fish.

For bottom fishing, we suggest considering the use of a feeder — English fishing bottom gear. This is fishing using feeders. They will half solve the problem of mobility when fishing, you can carry out spot feeding, which will help to quickly collect prey in a certain place. When the feed is washed out of the feeder, it spreads along the bottom, creating a bait site.

A few fishing tips:

  • The very first thing — before you catch this fish, find out if it can be caught in this region. Do not forget, it has the status of conservation fish.
  • What to catch carp — First check with local fishermen. Most often, he pecks on shells, a worm, shrimp, meat or the neck of a cancer.
  • For fishing, choose secluded places, the water should be clean, a lot of stones. It is good if there are small whirlpools.
  • As a bait, you can use pieces of dough or shell meat. Throw bait for several days, every other day, preferably at dusk or late in the evening.
  • For carp fishing, you can use carp fishing rods. Just take a genuine fishing line, on the shore you will not catch it. Two fishing rods will be enough for you for fishing.
  • Go fishing early in the morning, evening or night. Happy carp is hiding.
  • If hooked — turn immediately to the side. Do not let her «walk in the line.» He is very playful, will rush about. Try to get the fishing rod away.

Horned grandfather: features of the appearance and lifestyle of river dragonflies

Dace in terms of size it is rather modest, but it has extraordinary brilliance and mobility, therefore only an experienced angler can catch it. Serious excitement is played out during fishing, because here you need to show all your dexterity and agility. Let’s try to figure out what kind of underwater life the dace leads, how it stands out among other fish, what does it prefer for lunch, where it is constantly deployed and how to spawn?

Origin of view and description

Elets belongs to radiant fish and belongs to the family of cyprinids, the order of cypriniformes and the genus of daceae.

The common dace is considered to be the most common, but there are two more subspecies of this fish:

  • Kyrgyz dace has chosen the waters of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan;
  • Siberian dace inhabited the Siberian rivers.

There are still subspecies of fish related to the genus of dace, among them can be called:

  • dace of Zeravshansky;
  • trans-Caspian dace;
  • dace of Danilevsky;
  • dace of Talas.

Common features are common to all subspecies, but there are specific differences. The dace of Danilevsky has a ridge of dark gray or black color, on the sides the tone of the scales is silver-gray. The fins located below have a yellow-orange or yellow-red color. The eye iris has a yellow-orange hue.

Siberian dace has a dark green back and silver sides. The color of the fins may be slightly reddish or completely whitish. The body shape of this fish is higher than that of an ordinary dace, the appearance of which we will describe in detail below. Another Siberian distinguishes the final mouth.

It is worth noting that the appearance of the dace and their size are largely determined by the places of their permanent deployment and the presence of a food base in the reservoir. These fish do not differ in large sizes and large forms. On average, the length of the body of the dace is about 15 cm.

Interesting fact: There is recorded data that the length of the largest caught dace was 40 cm, and its weight was equal to one kilogram.

Appearance and features

Photo: What does the dace look like?

Yelets is a freshwater fish that prefers rivers with clean water, rich in oxygen and a rocky bottom. As already mentioned, the most common sizes of fish range from 15 to 20 cm, and their mass rarely goes beyond two hundred grams. The body of the dace is elongated and compressed from the sides, the general prevailing tone of the scales is silver. A darker bluish tint is visible on the back, and in the area of ​​the sides and abdomen, the color of the fish is light.

The dorsal fin is truncated and the tail is elongated, they are painted in dark colors, and the fins located in front, as well as the anal posterior fin, have a gray tint with a reddish-yellow coating. In the dye coloring, no spots, stripes or other patterns are observed, monophonic silver color scheme prevails, only the ridge is painted darker.

Interesting fact: The color scheme of the fins varies depending on the age of the fish, it acquires a more yellow tone. In the spawning period, the male anal fin becomes saturated red.

The head of the dace, in relation to the size of its body, is proportional and slightly narrowed. The fish has a small half-low mouth, in which there is a two-row arrangement of pharyngeal teeth. The number of branchial stamens in dace varies from 8 to 10 pieces. The scales of the fish are medium in size, along the lateral line they can be from 45 to 55.

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The iris of the dace of ordinary has a black color. The appearance of the dace is similar to the characteristic features of the chub, but the first is characterized by a narrower body and head. Even on the anal gray-yellow fin of the dace, there is a characteristic notch, and the chub has a semicircular shape and a red color.

Where does dace live?

Photo: Yelets in Russia

Yelets likes small rivers, where the current is not so fast, and the water is clean and clear. You can meet this fish in the waters of flowing lakes, in some floodplain ponds, which he sometimes visits. Firs love a rocky or sandy bottom surface. Where the bottom is muddy, you will not see this brisk fish. In our country, dace inhabits river systems and lakes of the Baltic and other southern seas. Fish chose Siberian and Far Eastern waters.

So, Siberian dace can be met in tributaries:

This species of dace selects small rivers, gathering in them in numerous schools, which often crowd out other fish inhabitants. In river systems belonging to the Pacific basin, dace do not live.

Consider the range of settlement of dace, relative to its other subspecies:

  • Kyrgyz dace has chosen such rivers as Nura, Chu, Turgai. The fish lives in the water spaces of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan;
  • Danilevsky’s dace can be met on the Don and Dnieper;
  • Talas dace lives in the lower reaches of Talas, in the Ass river, in lakes Ashi-Kul and Bailey-Kul;
  • dace of Zeravshan inhabited Amu Darya, Zerafshan and Syr Darya;
  • Trans-Caspian dace are caught in the waters of the Tejen and Murghab rivers.

In the territories of Belarus and Ukraine, dace inhabits:

In the western part of Europe, dace lives in lake and river systems of the Baltic, Black Sea and North Sea basins. You will not meet him in the areas of the Balkan and Iberian peninsulas. This fish is considered settled, but much depends on the quality and purity of the water. If this indicator changes for the worse, schools of elts swim upstream, looking for more transparent water.

Interesting fact: Yelets loves seething rapids, because in such places in the water there is a high oxygen content.

Now you know where the dace is found. Let’s see what he eats.

What does the dace eat?

Photo: Elets in water

The menu of the dace is quite diverse, in it you can see dishes, both animal and vegetable origin. The latter are much smaller, but they are still present. With a mouth below the mouth, the dace must swim tangentially relative to the water surface in order to quickly and deftly grab food.

Yelets is very fierce and fast-moving, therefore, he is able to instantly pounce on everything edible that gets into the water. When the dace feeds on the surface of the water, a small splash is heard, created by the fish body when bouncing.

In the summer, the fish diet consists mainly of all kinds of insects that live in the coastal zone (in tree crowns, shrubs and grass near the water) and fall into the water. Also dace eats water insects and their larvae with pleasure.

So, the fish likes to snack:

  • dragonflies;
  • various bugs;
  • butterflies;
  • grasshoppers;
  • flies;
  • midges;
  • bloodworm;
  • mosquitoes;
  • mayflies;
  • shitikami;
  • caddies.

In winter, the menu is, for the most part, made up of:

  • plankton;
  • crustaceans;
  • larvae;
  • Worms
  • rotifers;
  • daphnia and others

In the spring season, during floods, dace trees graze in floodplain flooded meadows, where they also feast on worms, all kinds of bugs and larvae. Of plant foods, dace prefers to dine with filamentous algae, loves all kinds of cereals (oats, rye, wheat), loves corn. All this can be judged by the contents of the stomachs of those fish that were caught.

Interesting fact: When the spawning period ends, the dace trees begin to eat off, actively eating the eggs of other fish, causing them great harm.

If we talk about fishing, the tastes of dace change depending on the season. In spring, he likes worms, at the very beginning of the summer period he likes to taste caddis flies, at the end of summer he prefers grasshoppers. Fishermen should take note of this. Due to the selectivity for various bait, dace is considered difficult prey, to catch it you need to try hard and study the habits.

Features of character and lifestyle

Photo: dace fish

Based on the fish diet, dace can be attributed to predators, therefore it behaves accordingly: it waits in a stream of water, hiding behind various stones, bottom mounds, snags. The fish instantly attacks insects floating or falling into the water. Another dace likes to hunt for insects that fly low, almost at the very surface of the water. Fish, catching them, slightly jumps out, creating a small splash on the surface of the water.

Interesting fact: Yelets can be called schooling fish. Especially young animals, two- and three-year-old individuals live collectively, only old-fashioned fish individuals can be kept singly or in groups containing from 2 to 5 calves.

In the summer, when spawning ends, the Yelts tend to the depths, holding most of the time near the bottom, so they spend almost all summer. On the surface they can be seen only at the dawn and at dusk, especially on bright moonlit nights, when fish hunt for swarms of insects clumping over the surface of the water. The Yelts, in search of food, can leave deep water and swim closer to the rifts and reaches, when the fish is saturated, it returns.

With the advent of autumn, dace trees exist at a depth of 2 to 4 meters, and when it gets very cold, winter is approaching, they move into underwater pits, straying into numerous flocks that hardly move, they don’t look for food at that time, so they cannot get caught . Only with the onset of protracted thaws, the Yelts begin a sluggish movement, looking for food.

Fish revival occurs in February-March, before the spawning period, the Yelts leave their wintering pits. If we talk about the nature and mores of the dace, then this fish can be called very mobile, brisk, active and smart enough. The agility and speed of this small aquatic creature does not hold. This is evidenced by various observations of fishing enthusiasts.

Interesting fact: If a fisherman discovers a place where the dace is constantly deployed, he can catch only 3 or 4 fish. Yelets will immediately understand that it is better not to touch the bait and will sail away to another area. In order for the bite to continue, the fisherman needs to constantly change the place of casting the fishing rod.

Social structure and reproduction

Photo: River fish dace

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Elts become sexually mature closer to their three-year-old age, by this time they grow up to 10 or 12 cm. Schools of fish begin to rise upstream as soon as spring ice sets in. During the flood, the elts come to small tributaries, where the water is clean and clear, the spawning season comes, which originates in the first couple of spring months. During this period, the water should warm up to five degrees with a plus sign, sometimes more. If the weather does not contribute to this, and the water is still cold, then the wedding fish season is delayed for some time.

During spawning, noise reigns on the river, numerous schools flock and splash in the coastal zone. Icromet is performed at a time, this process takes from 3 to 5 days. The female throws whitish and rather large caviar on bottom stones and aquatic plants. One egg in diameter reaches 2 mm. The fertility of these fish is considered small. Females with a length of 10 to 17 cm, sweep from 2 to 17 thousand eggs.

After one or two weeks, fry begin to hatch, which stay in coastal waters, where the flow is more calm. Growing to a length of five centimeters, young growth floats into the area of ​​rapids for permanent settlement. Until the age of two, fish grows very rapidly, then growth is too slow. By four or five years of age, dace children almost do not increase in size at all.

Interesting fact: Single specimens of dace trees reach thirty centimeters in length, with such a length, their age varies from 8 to 10 years, and the mass varies from 350 to 500 grams.

Natural enemies of dace

Photo: What does the dace look like?

Although dace and predator, but very small-sized, therefore, he has enough enemies in the wild. Do not mind eating with fir trees such larger predatory fish as catfish, pike, pike perch. Do not forget that the Yelts make jumps from the water when they catch insects flying over it, so at these moments they may well become a snack of birds eating fish (for example, gulls).

Various diseases and illnesses that are associated with helminths living in fish organisms often overcome fish, which makes their life span significantly reduced.

Elts suffer from:

  • echinochasmosis;
  • opisthorchiasis;
  • diphyllobothriasis.

These diseases can be dangerous for people, but everything is corrected by proper heat treatment and high-quality salting. One of the most insidious enemies of the dace can be considered a person who harms fish, both directly and indirectly. People catch these fish, but not in large quantities.

Yelets is not a commercial fish, so it comes across purely by chance or for the sake of sports interest. Most of all, a person harms a happy fish life, polluting the environment as a whole, including water bodies. There are less and less transparent and clean rivers, and dace can exist in just such waters, therefore it often perishes, being in dirty water, or floats away, looking for more suitable places for permanent deployment.

Population and species status

Photo: Siberian dace

The distribution area of ​​dace is quite extensive, but almost everywhere this species of fish becomes small and rare. Year after year, there are less and less clean untouched reservoirs, which is why dace is becoming a rarity, because it quickly dies in dirty waters.

Yelts are not a commercial species of fish; therefore, they are not caught on a large scale. People cause damage to fish stocks, interfering in natural biotopes, polluting water bodies, draining sewage, toxic chemicals, oil products into them. A large number of fish die because of poor quality water. In the south of Europe (the Balkans) you can’t meet a dace at all now. In the waters of the central regions of our country, the number of this fish has also become extremely small. In some states, dace is considered very rare and even endangered.

Siberian dace is also experiencing a decline in population. Back in the fifties of the last century in the Transbaikal rivers there was a huge amount of this small fish. When she spawned on the shallows, because of her large numbers, even the bottom was not noticeable, the dace went in such heaped schools to spawn. Now the population of these fish has declined tremendously, because the state of water resources has deteriorated much. In this regard, it can be argued that the dace needs special protective measures to preserve and stabilize the fish population.

Protection dace

Photo: dace fish

As noted earlier, almost everywhere the dace population has decreased due to the fact that the ecological state of many river systems leaves much to be desired. All this is very worrying for environmental organizations, so the fish is listed in the Red Lists of various territories. On the territory of Moscow and the Moscow region, dace is considered to be small in number and since 2001 is listed in the Red Book of Moscow.In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, dace was an industrial species in the city, but in the 1960s, its number was greatly reduced.

An ordinary dace is listed in the Red Book of the Samara Region as a small species. On the territory of the Ulyanovsk region, dace is also listed in the Red Book as a species whose number is declining. Elets Danilevsky is listed in the Red Book of the Ryazan region, as a rare species, on the number of which there is not enough information. Yelets can be seen in the Red Book of Ukraine, its conservation status says that it is a vulnerable species. The common dace is listed on the European Red Lists and IUCN lists. Almost everywhere, the main limiting factors are the pollution of water bodies and the lack of space for spawning grounds.

The main protective measures include:

  • identification of places of constant spawning of dace and their inclusion in the list of protected areas;
  • construction of new and modernization of old water treatment facilities;
  • environmental rehabilitation of spawning sites that have been degraded;
  • prohibition of fishing during the spawning period;
  • preservation of coastal zones in their natural form (prohibition of concreting, strengthening with logs, etc.);
  • conducting regular ichthyological studies and observations;
  • installation of booms in the most valuable areas of spawning grounds.

In the end it remains to add that the presence of a small, but very dexterous and mobile creature, like dace, in one or another body of water, indicates a favorable environmental situation in the area. Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer such places, so people should seriously think about their harmful effects on the nature of activities in order to prevent this silver and brisk fish from disappearing.

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