Prussian Carp is an invasive fish native from central Europe to Siberia. They are a hardy, rapidly reproducing fish, with females being able to spawn up to three times in a year. They have been found in areas with generally poor water quality where less tolerant native fish would not survive. Prussian Carp feed on plankton, benthic invertebrates, plant material, and detritus. They spawn in shallow, warm shores on submerged vegetation.
In North America, Prussian Carp were first detected in Alberta where they have established breeding populations across the province throughout several ponds, lakes, and tributaries. They have since expanded into Saskatchewan. There are currently no confirmed reports of Prussian Carp in Ontario’s waters.
Impacts of Prussian Carp
- Threaten native fish populations by outcompeting native species for food and habitat.
- Has the potential to spread new diseases and pathogens.
- Once established, they are very difficult and costly to manage or eradicate.
How to Identify Prussian Carp
- Prussian Carp are a deep-bodied, robust fish similar to the invasive Goldfish and Common Carp.
- The fish does not exceed a weight of three kg (6.6 lb) and a length of 45 cm (18 in)
- The fish is usually silvery, although other color variations exist, such as a deep orange similar to the Goldfish.
- Prussian Carp have a relatively long dorsal (back) fin relative to their overall length and have a deeply forked caudal fin.
What You Can Do
- Learn how to identify Prussian Carp and how to prevent the spread of this unwanted species.
- Don’t release any live fish into Ontario’s lakes, rivers, or streams. Return or donate unwanted aquarium fish to a pet store or local school.
- Never buy or keep live Prussian Carp.
- If you’ve seen an Prussian Carp or another invasive species in the wild, please contact the toll-free Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711, visit EDDMapS Ontario, or search for the ‘Invasive Species in Ontario’ project on iNaturalist.org to report a sighting.
OFAH/OMNRF Invading Species Awareness Program. (2020). Prussian Carp. Retrieved from: www.invadingspecies.com.
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Header photo by George Chernilevsky, Wikimedia