Carp is the most common freshwater fish in our country. Everyone who at least once went fishing with a fishing rod probably caught a few crucians. Familiar fish carp and cooks. Because carp is the most available fish, there are many recipes for their preparation. Finally, the carp lends itself well to breeding in pond fish farms.
Fish carp — types
In the scientific classification of a goldfish isolated in a separate genus belonging to the family of carp fish. At the moment there are five fish species carp:
- Golden (common) carp. Is native to fresh waters of Eurasia, from England to Central Siberia (Lena basin). Has a characteristic yellowish-Golden tint of scales.
- Silver or silver carp. Initially, this species inhabited the waters belonging to the Pacific, and also in some rivers of Siberia. However, through the efforts of man this species is widely spread in water bodies of Northern Eurasia, becoming almost more common than the local Golden carp. This type has a steel or silver color and slightly larger scales.
- Carp goldfish. This purely decorative form was artificially bred in Ancient China method of breeding common carp. Today created several breeds of goldfish, differing greatly among themselves and form and color. Basic breed looks different from the usual carp only bright orange color.
- Japanese white carp. Originally endemic to Japan’s largest lake Biwa. Subsequently, it was artificially inhabited in Korea and Taiwan. You’ll be a light gray color.
- Mabuna of crucian carp (Carassius langsdorfii). Widely distributed in Japan, and are sometimes found in the far East. Visually very similar to silver carp.
Although some species of marine fish have household name sea bream, this fish has no relation to the real freshwater carp.
The distribution of carp
For a long time, a typical representative of the genus carp was considered the Golden carp, he’s ordinary. This species was widely distributed throughout Europe and Northern Asia, where its habitat reaches of the Lena river basin. For many centuries, the Europeans did not know any other species of carp, except gold. However, in the second half of the XX century Golden carp began to be replaced by a silver carp, which to date has become more typical representative of the genus.
It is considered that the southern boundary of the settlement of the Golden carp came to Central France, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Georgia, southern Kazakhstan and Northern Altai. In nature fish Golden carp are not met in the waters of China, but the historical facts show that in China about this kind knew and even bred it, because it is based on the Golden carp about a thousand years ago, there was displayed a kind of crucian goldfish. However, many sources claim that this view was derived still from the silver carp, which is found in Northern China everywhere.
Silver carp was originally distributed in the waters belonging to the basin of the Amur, and also in some Siberian rivers. In the 1960-ies of this kind began artificially to settle on the territory of the USSR and Central Europe. Silver carp are well established outside of their natural habitat, and today it can be found also in Western Europe, USA, Canada, India and other regions of the world. In those waters, which came goldfish, native fish, carp and Golden carp were rapidly supplanted by the wayside, and in many places even disappeared completely.
Two Japanese species of carp, it is not difficult to guess, was originally distributed only in Japan. And white carp was generally endemic to one pond of lake Biwa. Over time, Japanese carp was introduced in some reservoirs of the Russian Far East, Korea and China.
As for goldfish, this view from the beginning was bred artificially for decorative purposes, but because under natural conditions not found.
Fish carp — description
All carp are similar enough appearance. They have a high flattened laterally body with a thick back and a narrow abdomen. On the back is low, but long fin. Small head ends in a very very small mouth in which the pharyngeal teeth arranged in one row.
Carp have large, smooth scales, the color of which depends not only on species but also on habitat. The Golden carp is mainly found in various shades of yellow-gray color from mustard to silver with a slight tinge of yellow. And crucian carps fins are always yellow-brown or reddish in color. In turn, the fish silver carp is silvery grey, sometimes with greenish tinge color, but occasionally come across individuals yellow. The fins are silver carp are always greyish-black. Japanese white carp is a lighter version of silver. As far as the color of a goldfish, the standard breed painted in bright carrot color.
The size of the carp is directly dependent on the size of the reservoir. In small ponds, they often do not exceed the size of the palm of an adult, but in rivers, reservoirs, large lakes and ponds the Golden carp can gain up to 3 kg with a body length of about 50 cm, and silver — up to 2 kg and 40 cm.
The way of life of the carp
Carp like fish is the basis of the “population” of the most stagnant and flowing waters in their natural habitat. It feels great in shallow ponds and swamps, and large rivers, including the estuary and freshwater Delta. The carp prefers turbid muddy places, but ponds with crystal clear water and a stony bottom he doesn’t like. For this reason, it is almost impossible to find in the mountain lakes, rivers and streams.
Carp absolutely unpretentious to the quality of water, and if conditions in the pond become unbearable (the catastrophic drop of oxygen level, drying or even freezing), it just buries itself in bottom mud and there falls asleep. Frozen carp can be long months, waiting for conditions to improve in the pond.
This fish prefers to stay as close to the bottom or hiding in the thickets of underwater vegetation. However, with the abundance of insects at the water surface he can climb and in the upper water layers. Freshwater fish carp leads gregarious lifestyle, but large specimens are often kept singly.
In small ponds, especially in stagnant, carp hibernate to avoid oxygen starvation. But in the rivers and other water bodies with good water circulation and normal oxygen regime, fish often remains active throughout the year.
Carp are omnivorous. The basis of their diet consists of various insects, small invertebrates living in the water, algae and detritus. In turn, Sam Karas often becomes the prey of predatory fishes and aquatic predators (snakes, otters, herons, etc.)
Sexual maturity of the freshwater fish carp reaches the age of three or four years. Spawning is usually in several stages during the season when the water temperature reaches an optimal value (about 14 °C). But usually the bulk of the calf is torn in may—June. Under spawning grounds in selected areas of bottom covered with aquatic vegetation.
An interesting feature of the silver carp is the ability of females to gynogenesis, that is, to reproduce without the participation of males of their own species. It happens this way: the females spawn the eggs, which then activate (but not fertilize in the full sense) of milk of other fish such as the Golden carp or carp; larvae hatched in genetic terms are copies of their mother. As a result, some reservoirs silver carp represented exclusively by females.
Although carp are not usually inclined to migrate, sometimes during spawning they can get out of their lakes, ponds and backwaters in the river to spawn.
Economic value carp
Carp is a familiar inhabitant of the fresh waters in almost all of Europe (except southern and some Western regions and the far North). From time immemorial local inhabitants he was the object of fishing at the bait and the network.
Today, the family of fish, the crucian carp remains a popular prey for sport fishing enthusiasts. He lives in the manicured private ponds, and in natural wild waters, and therefore accessible to any fisherman. Because fishing for carp requires only the most basic fishing skills, no fishing trip to a freshwater pond can not do without that hooked at least a few crucians.
However, due to the fact that wild carp ponds is often of very small size, the value of fish caught during sport fishing, usually small. Basically it is a small fish the size of a palm, at least — slightly larger. Many fishermen prefer to let such small things fish carp back into the pond.
The situation is somewhat different on the groomed private ponds where the fish feed and purposefully bred. In such circumstances, the goldfish is relatively easy weight of several hundred grams, and sometimes more than a kilogram. This fish is of considerable interest not only in sports but also in culinary terms.
Finally, carp are often deliberately bred as a commercial fish for sale. Being omnivorous and completely unpretentious to the conditions in the pond, carp is cheap to produce and does not create unnecessary trouble. However, in the food market and it is not appreciated highly.
We should also mention the goldfish species goldfish. Because it is artificial and purely decorative, and in the wild it is not found. It is bred for aquariums and small decorative ponds. Use these carp the food is not accepted.
The use of carp in cooking
Carp is considered a dietary food, as with average fat content of its meat at 7% calories 100 grams do not exceed 87 kcal.
Like all fish, carp are very useful, because it contains a lot of fat-soluble vitamins, minerals and trace elements. In particular it is rich in vitamins A, b, C, D, E, PP, as well as copper, zinc, second in calcium, manganese, sodium, etc. In meat of fish a lot of iodine, which is very necessary when problems with the thyroid gland. For the amount of protein carp is comparable to chicken. This substance in the meat is about 18%.
Taste characteristics of the fish largely depend on the place, which is inhabited by a particular individual. Fish caught in a large river or a large standing body of water, has a delicate slightly sweet taste, whereas live fish carp caught in shallow, boggy ponds can often give Tina. Fortunately, to overcome this problem by soaking the fish in milk or vinegar, or by using more spices.
Another disadvantage carp, which many cooks do not like this fish is its increased harmonic. Many bones are so small that visually they are very hard to see and remove when butchering the carcass. However, there are a lot of recipes for you to minimize this problem.
The simplest dish of carp, which at least once prepared, each fisherman is carp in flour, fried in a pan. Many insist that the thus prepared crucians better than they are smaller.
Other popular dishes are fried carp in sour cream, soup or soup of carp and oven baked carp. In Poland, for example, carp in sour cream is a popular festive dish. Big carp is seasoned and dried.
Artificial breeding of carp
From the point of view of fishery carp are good that almost not affected by infectious diseases and, as follows from the description of the fish crucian carp, quite demanding to the quality of the water and is able to quickly dial all even without feeding. Although for the most part of territory of Russia native is the Golden carp, for the artificial breeding and cultivation is better suited silver. He is quickly gaining weight and generally more tenacious.
Carp can breed in monoculture or together with carps. The easiest way is to buy fingerlings at a fish farm (in almost every region since the Soviet era left the farms, which breed crucian carp) and then rearing them to marketable sizes in a private pond. With the size and cleanliness of the pond don’t really matter. Important to observe the rate of planting and to prevent the drying of the pond.
If a pond rich in vegetation, invertebrates, fish will feed themselves. But to speed up the process of weight carp it is better to feed a steamed grain, unsalted cereals, pig feed or specially designed for carp feed. In this mode carp will grow to marketable size in just one season.