The Noble Carp

February 12, 2005 By: Marshall Cutchin

Various strains of the carp, which originated in China, are considered prime targets for fly fishers all around the world. But in the U.S. doubts about its status as a game fish seem as prevalent as ever. Chris Hunt offers his rather typical experience in the Pocatello (Idaho) State Journal, where he also lists some interesting facts about the fish. “According to Peter Dawson, who maintains the ‘frequently asked questions’ section of www.carp.net, common carp (the cheap variety – sort of a shantytown cousin to the high-brow koi) were brought to the United States by the country’s Carp Commission, which was created by President U.S. Grant. At the time – the late 1800s – other traditional food fish in the United States (salmon, trout, etc.) were becoming quite rare due to overharvesting. Carp, which reproduce quickly and can adapt to just about any kind of water, represented an excellent alternative.”