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Common Carp is not an invasive species


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#1 hammercarp

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 07:26 PM

I have heard the term invasive species used in referring to common carp , cyprinus carpio on this forum repeatedly . This is incorrect according to the law and according to the science.
Common Carp are protected by the same laws that protect all of our fish. You cannot snag or use a spring gaff on them and there are other illegal methods of taking them listed on pg. 8 under General Prohibitions.
The Summary of Fishing Regulations lists invasive species on pg 8. The common carp is not included in this list.
The regs state clearly that you are not allowed to possess live invasive species. Pg.8
You can possess live common carp. That means you can keep them live by any of the standard legal ways anglers keep their catch live.
You can take common carp by means other than angling eg bowfishing. There is a season for this in designated FMU's. In FMU 16 it runs from May 1 to July 31.
There are no seasonal limitations for invasive species.
According to the Field Guide to Aquatic Invasive Species , which is published by the Ontario government as a guide to biologists and technicians , the common carp is not considered invasive.
"Impacts: Because its establishment predates many of the
earliest fish surveys, the impact of common carp upon
native fish assemblages in Ontario is difficult to assess."
This means they don't know and being good scientists they will not act without sound scientific knowledge.

It further states,
*NOTE - We are not seeking reports on common carp:
This information sheet has been included to help you
differentiate common carp from similar-looking species
of carp in the guide, e.g., grass carp (Cyp-cte-ide) and
goldfish (Cyp-car-aur) which should be reported as per
section 3.0 reportIng procedure.
The clearly separates common carp from the invasives.

So if you think you know better than the law and the science or if your command of the English language is very poor I would be willing to explain it again to you via PM.

.
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#2 JimCanuck

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 08:47 PM

Carp was introduced in 1880 due to the influx of Central and Eastern Europeans immigrating into Canada, to act as a food source for them as the native fish stocks were already on nose dives by that point.

Chinook salmon were introduced for similar reasons (depletion of fish stocks) in 1874, Rainbow Trout was introduced in 1883, Brown Trout was introduced in the 1930s. All because of the fish stock depletion, and immigration just like carp.

Sure Carp can be annoying, there is evident both for and against its presence hurting other fish species, depends who you ask mainly, I've never seen a consensus. But at the same time, we put them in our waters long before our grandparents generation was born, complaining about it now is a little late.

Forgot to add, Sea Lamprey has been in Ontario waters since the 1830's, and funny enough, while effectively no one here fishes or eats it, its actually more expensive then salmon in quite a large part of the world. Its a more meaty then fishy type of fish, its been around for the last 360 million years on this planet, and its considered such a delicacy that its been used for centuries for Royal feasts, such as Queen Elizabeth II's recent Jubilee, she was served a Lamprey Pie as a "featured" meal, the only one specifically mentioned in the media for that matter. As it was served at her coronation.

By the way, for the recent Jubilee Pie, they imported it from Ontario, they caught them in the Great Lakes, as most of the worlds Lamprey stocks were over fished and our supply here is one of the few sources remaining.

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#3 Yanni

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 09:34 PM

By definition of law it is not an invasive species in Ontario. Naturally though it can be a very invasive specie and one to ignore that fact would simply be in denial. But so can tonnes of other species of animals/birds/fish/etc due to not being native, not having natural predation, and having good environments to thrive in; which can lead to negative impacts on local species(that is usually some of the main key-points that makes anything invasive). And as for being native, as Jim already mentioned, plenty of other things aren't either.

At the end of the day there are people who appreciate targeting it not only for the sport of it, but as well others who do for the consumption.

Even for the people who are extremely against common carp, it is not practical nor will it ever truly be to completely eradicate them. It would likely cost millions upon millions (it wouldn't surprise me to reach into billions), you will never truly get rid of it, it won't make much of a difference, and you'd lose the revenue from the current market that is interested (ie. overall huge waste of money that can be better spent elsewhere). Even if you reduce numbers they'll just peak up again due to more food for the ones remaining as well as the young.

What anyone who appreciates other fisheries should be worried about is new species reaching here and decimating current populations of fish. Whatever damage common carp may or may not have done is pretty much done with, and I would think that their populations are somewhat stable (other then if getting into a new body of water that didn't possess them, which again applies to other species as well).
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#4 hammercarp

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 10:30 PM

I think that the label " invasive " has been over used lately. And it has come to mean something different than what you have stated Yanni. To me, what you said can attributed to this fact . " All life on this planet, from the tiniest bacteria to the great blue whale , all exploit and affect the environment" . There is no doubt that when animals overpopulate this can have effects which we view as negative. But the image of the "invasive" is something all together different.
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#5 Yanni

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 12:41 PM

I think that the label " invasive " has been over used lately. And it has come to mean something different than what you have stated Yanni. To me, what you said can attributed to this fact . " All life on this planet, from the tiniest bacteria to the great blue whale , all exploit and effect the environment" . There is no doubt that when animals overpopulate this can have effects which we view as negative. But the image of the "invasive" is something all together different.

That is true, that it depends what context someone is using the term in. Which then can evidently vary greatly. Of course almost anything can be invasive if not located somewhere naturally, but some species can be extremely invasive not just in terms of not being native, and carp happens to be one of those. Then it just depends if one views that as favorable or not. But that distinction still needs to be made when talking about invasives, some want to simply discuss if it's invasive locally (which its status is not in Ontario), but it's natural ability to thrive when it enters new bodies of water is what makes it a naturally invasive species. Now if you were simply aiming to discuss the legal and Ontario aspect of it, then I have no issues there as stated before.

I think the main context that needs to be looked at is the effect something is currently having, not what has been done. As I mentioned, I think what effect they've had is likely stabilized and they've been able to co-exist with other species. I think that is why the issue currently varies so greatly across the border, they're currently dealing with a problem. Though, those problems are mainly linked to Silver carp, snakeheads, etc. Of course there's more invasives then that in the US, but those tend to be such big concerns over the rest due to the numbers they thrive in, at such a fast pace, with ease, and the damage they have to local fisheries.
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#6 NADO

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:00 AM

According to the Field Guide to Aquatic Invasive Species , which is published by the Ontario government as a guide to biologists and technicians , the common carp is not considered invasive.


I showed you quite a bit of dialogue between me and a representative of the field guide to Aquatic Invasive Species indicating that the "naturalization" classification is currently being debated and that they support the invasive classification. Of course they aren’t seeking reports on Common Carp as they are absolutely everywhere! They simply don’t have the resources to field all of the calls that would be coming in.

So if you think you know better than the law and the science or if your command of the English language is very poor I would be willing to explain it again to you via PM.


This is directly out of the field guide to Invasive Species, how is my English? Am I reading this right????

Alien (introduced, non-native or exotic) species are species of plants, animals and micro-organisms introduced by human action outside their natural past or present distribution.

Invasive (or invading) species are those introduced species whose introduction or spread threatens the environment, the economy or society, including human health.


By the way, for the recent Jubilee Pie, they imported it from Ontario, they caught them in the Great Lakes, as most of the worlds Lamprey stocks were over fished and our supply here is one of the few sources remaining.



Even for the people who are extremely against common carp, it is not practical nor will it ever truly be to completely eradicate them. It would likely cost millions upon millions (it wouldn't surprise me to reach into billions), you will never truly get rid of it, it won't make much of a difference, and you'd lose the revenue from the current market that is interested (ie. overall huge waste of money that can be better spent elsewhere). Even if you reduce numbers they'll just peak up again due to more food for the ones remaining as well as the young.


To me these two points both highlight the problem and also identify a solution to the problem we have with Common Carp. In Europe for example Common Carp can be hard to come by because they are heavily overfished. Here in Ontario what we need to be doing is not looking for expensive ways to get rid of the carp but instead we need to promote fishing for them with the intention of eating them or using them for other purposes. One tool im looking to get going is setting up a network of local farmers who would be happy to accept the carp caught by local anglers to be used as fertilizer or feed. It could be a thread filled with addresses and contact information so an angler could easily look up the closest farmer that is involved in the program to drop off their catch.

Im not sure it would work on this forum with the way things have been going lately but I am certain that other forums would be happy to facilitate such a program and if it works it could have a very positive effect on the fishery. Populations wouldn’t be eliminated however they would be controlled, this system could even be used with gobies, snakeheads and all other types of invasives. Promoting the release of trophy sized carp is the LAST thing we should be doing, can anyone possibly explain the logic behind promoting the release of a species that is Invasive?

We don’t have to give up completely, there are still many cost effective methods of conservation that can aid in controlling the common carp population.
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#7 Dave Bailey

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 01:34 PM

To me the word 'carp' has only one synonym - 'fertilizer'. No, I don't use them for that, in fact I've never caught one or targeted them, but I would not object if they disappeared.

Let the slagging begin!
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#8 riverhugger

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 02:09 PM

I think NADO brought up a great point about setting up a network of farmers who could allow fishers to drop off their gobies/carp/etc to be used as fertilizer. I don't really see people bringing gobies to farmers as they are small and people don't feel bad about tossing them to the birds or whatever they do with them.
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#9 NADO

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 02:46 PM

Thanks Jlisk, if the moderators were on board I would be happy to put in some leg work to help get the network going.

I thought I would elaborate on another discrepancy in the first post of this thread. The part where Hammercarp quoted directly from the Field guide to aquatic invasive species coincidentally has a paragraph in the middle cut out of it. Let me complete the quote below so that everyone can see what the field guide ACTUALLY states…..misinformation doesn’t help anyone! The part that is bolded Is the missing paragraph, there are now no missing points from the “Impact section” under common carp.


According to the Field Guide to Aquatic Invasive Species , which is published by the Ontario government as a guide to biologists and technicians , the common carp is not considered invasive.
"Impacts: Because its establishment predates many of the
earliest fish surveys, the impact of common carp upon
native fish assemblages in Ontario is difficult to assess."
This means they don't know and being good scientists they will not act without sound scientific knowledge.

In other regions, substantial and varied negative impacts
have been documented. Feeding activity uproots aquatic
plants, reducing food and breeding habitat for native
invertebrates, birds and fishes9. The associated disturbance
of bottom sediments may increase turbidity and further
inhibit plant growth. Larval carp may compete with native
fish species for zooplankton9. Adults compete with native
fishes for benthic invertebrate prey. Predation on eggs of
native fishes may adversely impact prey populations6.

It further states,
*NOTE - We are not seeking reports on common carp:
This information sheet has been included to help you
differentiate common carp from similar-looking species
of carp in the guide, e.g., grass carp (Cyp-cte-ide) and
goldfish (Cyp-car-aur) which should be reported as per
section 3.0 reportIng procedure.
The clearly separates common carp from the invasives.

So if you think you know better than the law and the science or if your command of the English language is very poor I would be willing to explain it again to you via PM.


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#10 hammercarp

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 03:50 PM

Do you actually know any farmers? I do. They would tell you to take your stinking trunkfull of fish and fertilize your own butt with them. They don't need more flies and more raccons which is all that they would get from your generous offer. That idea is complete nonsense. Also the idea that they would feed carp to their livestock is so utterly ridiculous that only a true Citiot would come up with that one. They don't need you laying your problems on them. They have enough of their own.
If you know anything about composting you know that adding dead animal flesh to your compost is a big no no. It will attract vermin and poses a health risk, to say nothing of the stink that your neighbours will complain about. They could even call the local health dept. This is another bad idea.
Also it is in contravention of the regs. They clearly state that it is illegal to;
Abandon fish or permit the flesh to spoil if the fish is suitable for human consumption.
Carp are certainly edible. Yanni just ate one, they are sold in markets here and are eaten all over the world.
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#11 staffman

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 06:10 PM

I do not believe that common carp cause any problems in the waters that I fish. With higher gas prices predicted in the future travelling long distance for steelhead may cause many anglers to turn to carp fishing as a economical alternative. I know that I purchased a "carp" rod and a bait runner reel to pursue them. I haven't fished for them with this outfit , but I view carp fishing as a alternative which has its own following of dedicated anglers. I've watched ,in awe, some of the match fishing that occurs on the Thames river in London. I haven't actually fished my outfit for carp but I have used it for catfish. The carp that have infiltrated the southern US and waiting to enter the G lakes through some sewage canals state side are what you need to fear not the common carp.
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#12 georgianbaydrifter

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:05 PM

hhhhmmmmm i havent even seen a carp yet this year. in 20 years coarse fishing is all we might have left.
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#13 hammercarp

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:47 PM

hhhhmmmmm i havent even seen a carp yet this year. in 20 years coarse fishing is all we might have left.

Come on, you don't actually think that. :) Carp can be part of the solution. If someone is fishing carp then they are not targeting trout, wall-eye or other fish that get heavily pressured.
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#14 georgianbaydrifter

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:10 PM

not because of them colonizing and forcing out other species but because of water temp and quality. im down with coarse fishing ive been hitting this one lake lots this year for golden shinners on the floatrod.
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#15 hammercarp

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 12:26 AM

Okay I get your point. Increasing water temps will be hard on some species like trout.
So " blame the carp" does not apply regarding climate change. Although there are some that are trying for that one I suppose. :rolleyes: Carp have been blamed for a lot of damage that we have done. Why not , they can't ague back.
The real reason for many individuals and private organizations/businesses jumping on the carp are invasive bandwagon is this. They know you can't get rid of carp, it is not possible. So by conning governments into buying into their schemes they get big fat government contracts or government funding to try. Which they would be more than happy to do as long as the money will flow their way. And so they get a lifetime of job security or at least until somebody figures out it's a waste of tax payers dollars.
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#16 LogJam

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 05:43 AM

Thanks Jlisk, if the moderators were on board I would be happy to put in some leg work to help get the network going.

I thought I would elaborate on another discrepancy in the first post of this thread. The part where Hammercarp quoted directly from the Field guide to aquatic invasive species coincidentally has a paragraph in the middle cut out of it. Let me complete the quote below so that everyone can see what the field guide ACTUALLY states…..misinformation doesn’t help anyone! The part that is bolded Is the missing paragraph, there are now no missing points from the “Impact section” under common carp.

when you think about it, all fish do what you have told us, bass will clear out many spots to make a nest to spawn, killing many plants and mucking up the river to make a nest, same with salmon, trout, sun fish might be the worst. perch are one of the only fish that lay eggs on plants in the water. you ever seen how the salmon destroy the rivers? salmon are invasive. only salmon we should see are Atlantic, but the government screwed that up by introducing the "Kings" (pacific salmon). we should be out bow hunting them. or using a shotgun...
so the information that was left out the first time, was something that all fish do, not just carp.
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#17 georgianbaydrifter

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 07:54 AM

everone do your part to bring back atlantics and slit every shin dog you catch this fall
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#18 hammercarp

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 08:11 AM

I do not believe that common carp cause any problems in the waters that I fish. With higher gas prices predicted in the future travelling long distance for steelhead may cause many anglers to turn to carp fishing as a economical alternative. I know that I purchased a "carp" rod and a bait runner reel to pursue them. I haven't fished for them with this outfit , but I view carp fishing as a alternative which has its own following of dedicated anglers. I've watched ,in awe, some of the match fishing that occurs on the Thames river in London. I haven't actually fished my outfit for carp but I have used it for catfish. The carp that have infiltrated the southern US and waiting to enter the G lakes through some sewage canals state side are what you need to fear not the common carp.

Good for you.. :) I have talked to quite a few guys that say carp are a great fish to angle for between trout and bass season. Carp allow me to go fishing as much as I want without having to spend lots of money on gas, sit in traffic and have to plan an entire weekend just to wet a line. They are a fantastic urban sportfish and In Fisherman magazine named the carp " The World's Greatest Freshwater Sportfish" .
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#19 NADO

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 09:19 AM

Do you actually know any farmers? I do. They would tell you to take your stinking trunkfull of fish and fertilize your own butt with them. They don't need more flies and more raccons which is all that they would get from your generous offer. That idea is complete nonsense. Also the idea that they would feed carp to their livestock is so utterly ridiculous that only a true Citiot would come up with that one. They don't need you laying your problems on them. They have enough of their own.
If you know anything about composting you know that adding dead animal flesh to your compost is a big no no. It will attract vermin and poses a health risk, to say nothing of the stink that your neighbours will complain about. They could even call the local health dept. This is another bad idea.
Also it is in contravention of the regs. They clearly state that it is illegal to;
Abandon fish or permit the flesh to spoil if the fish is suitable for human consumption.
Carp are certainly edible. Yanni just ate one, they are sold in markets here and are eaten all over the world.


Well I only talked to one farmer and they said they would be more than happy to take the flesh. The practice of using carp for fertilizer is not an idea I came up with myself, it is actually happening on a much larger scale in the states. Flies and racoons????? Were not talking about the stay at home mom (farmer lol?) who has a garden in her backyard...were talking about acres of farmland, not a 5x20 plot lol. People actually go to the river during salmon season and use them for their own backyard gardens which is a pretty bad idea for all of the reasons you mentioned above, but only a "Citiot" would think I was talking about a backyard garden.....

The part about abandoning fish that is suitable for human consumption is a fair point and I will put in a question to the MNR and see what their position is on this. Oh and BTW I like how you tip toed around the point made in the guide to invasive species that clearly states “studies indicate substantial and varied negative impacts have been documented”. Looks like any scientific information that doesn’t support your position isn’t work acknowledging.


Good for you.. :) I have talked to quite a few guys that say carp are a great fish to angle for between trout and bass season. Carp allow me to go fishing as much as I want without having to spend lots of money on gas, sit in traffic and have to plan an entire weekend just to wet a line. They are a fantastic urban sportfish and In Fisherman magazine named the carp " The World's Greatest Freshwater Sportfish" .


Aha, the true reason for the carp conservation finally comes through. The Carp Anglers Group could clearly care less about the impact carp have on the fishery. It’s a shame you guys are the ones who scream the loudest, but that’s the way politics always go. A small group of like minded individuals yell loud enough and get their way, it doesn’t matter if they are right or not.
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#20 NADO

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 09:35 AM

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