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Guest kyron4

Carp: length, girth, weight ?

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Guest kyron4

The bigger of the Carp I caught ran 26-28 inches with around 17 inches girth, and weighed 8-10 pounds. The one in my Avatar pic. is 28" long, 17 " girth, and 10 lbs. How long are the 15-20 pound carp you guy catch ? Does girth take over after 30 inches or so ? I see pics of "20 lbs. carp" that don't look over 30"and not super fat. Just trying to get some length/ weight averages. Thanks

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Too many factors involved. 2 fish, equals in length and height (top to bottom), but one is a lot wider across the back, they would look roughly the same size in the picture, but the wider one could be 50% heavier....

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kyron4, Scotty Hit the Nail on the Head with that one! Many times people will say that this fish or that fish can not weigh that much, but the total fish must be taken into account when making a visual guess only.

HOPPY4

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Very true I caught a few that were around 33 inches and 25lbs but look the same in a photo as one I cuaght that was 17lbs. My average fish is 34-37inches.

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It seems that there is such a variation in body types in carp that there is no way to get the weight other than the scale. I saw many carp caught this season from the same waters and there was a lot difference in body shapes.

I used to think that carp grew in stages. They seemed to grow in one dimension at a time. Starting out with a pretty general fish shape then growing more in height than length, then more in length than height etc. Then once they got around the high teens they bulked up.

With the mish mash of genetics we have in our carp including golfish crosses and different waters ie lakes , rivers etc. IMHU There isn't a practical rule or method that will work other than the scale.

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The bigger of the Carp I caught ran 26-28 inches with around 17 inches girth, and weighed 8-10 pounds. The one in my Avatar pic. is 28" long, 17 " girth, and 10 lbs. How long are the 15-20 pound carp you guy catch ? Does girth take over after 30 inches or so ? I see pics of "20 lbs. carp" that don't look over 30"and not super fat. Just trying to get some length/ weight averages. Thanks

Kyron4,

The typical wild common variety of carp that is 28 inches long usually will weigh about 8 pounds. 10 pounds is probably the upper limit for this length, so you are definitely on target with your weights.

However, carp start adding girth once they reach 32 inches. You could catch a wild common that is 12 pounds and 32 inches long and then land another one that is almost 20 pounds but the same length. 32 inches is the magic length that results in less length growth and more girth growth. A 33-inch fish is almost always 20 pounds or very close. Every body of water is different, however, and there are lots of different varieties of the species Cyprinus carpio.

I have caught carp as small as 23 inches that weighed 10 pounds but this is rare in the USA unless you are out East. There are a few varieties of carp, that were manipulated by French monks to grow more round to fit on a dinner plate, that are living in US waters. Most are in lakes or rivers in the Eastern part of the US. These fish could be 30 inches and 50 pounds. Most are mirrors, a rare variety where the scales grow irregular.

I doubt it is possible to make a chart that would be accurate enough to cover all varieties of carp. You might be able to construct one for your lake on your own. But if you are looking for a good marker for as 20-pound fish, then 33 inches is a good bet.

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Kyron4,

The typical wild common variety of carp that is 28 inches long usually will weigh about 8 pounds. 10 pounds is probably the upper limit for this length, so you are definitely on target with your weights.

Depends on too many enviromental factors.

However, carp start adding girth once they reach 32 inches. You could catch a wild common that is 12 pounds and 32 inches long and then land another one that is almost 20 pounds but the same length. 32 inches is the magic length that results in less length growth and more girth growth. A 33-inch fish is almost always 20 pounds or very close. Every body of water is different, however, and there are lots of different varieties of the species Cyprinus carpio.

Depends on their enviroment. If all factors which equate to size of fish dictates the fish stop growing much smaller, then they will start adding girth much earlier than 32". You can't guage when a carp will begin to slow putting on length by a certain number, but rather how old said fish is. One water we fish, I landed a 45" common which didn't look like it was putting on girth yet, meaning it probably wasn't yet in the 12-13 year old range. Yet.

Our carp (any of our wildie sub species) begin to slow their length gain from about 8-13 yrs old, usually earlier the further south you go. It would be roughly this time frame that they would begin to put on thickness and mass.

Now, if you have water "A" which, for many enviromental reasons, negate the fish from putting much size on during their growth years, then they will not be that long when they reach that magical time when they slow their length growth, and will start putting on girth much earlier than 32". I have seen waters with old fish that were but 20-22" long.

HOWEVER, water "B" has nearly every enviromental and genetic factor in it's favor for growing fish fast during their growth years, the fish generally will blow way past 32" when they start slowing their length growth.....

Most waters I fish this slowness of growth starts at 34-39"....meaning pretty big fish.

I have caught carp as small as 23 inches that weighed 10 pounds but this is rare in the USA unless you are out East. There are a few varieties of carp, that were manipulated by French monks to grow more round to fit on a dinner plate, that are living in US waters. Most are in lakes or rivers in the Eastern part of the US. These fish could be 30 inches and 50 pounds. Most are mirrors, a rare variety where the scales grow irregular.

30" and 50lbs?!?? I'd love to see that one..LOL. But, your point about some sub-species, which were bred for depth/mass for food reasons, being legit. However, I am out east, and have fished many/many waters out this part of the US. Rare cases when Isrealis are stocked aside, I haven't seen these rotund fish. And the Isrealies would never reach 50lbs at only 30"...

I doubt it is possible to make a chart that would be accurate enough to cover all varieties of carp. You might be able to construct one for your lake on your own. But if you are looking for a good marker for as 20-pound fish, then 33 inches is a good bet.

This would be good advice for any water, as they're so different. I've written about my take on how to find waters with the largest fish before many times (Search for "length"). But, when you're catching young fish that are long, and still have room to grow, and the enviromental factors to put on girth, than you will find your largest fish.

Some waters I fish, 15-20lb fish will be 28-32", some waters they need to be much longer to attain the same weight....

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Scott,

You make a very valid point here and you have seen way more fish and fished way more bodies of water than I have fished. You will get no argument from me.

I agree that it really does depend on the body of water and the variety or strain of Cyprinus carpio that is in that body of water.

However, I would not call them sub-species because they are still the same species. Dogs we call breads but Fishery Science uses the term variety or strain for fish varieties within the same species. Sub-species is a term used to define a species that has been isolated from the main gene pool and has developed into a group that has very different phenotypes and may look or behave totally different than the main species but is still genetically or genotypically the same. There is even some argument that these animals or plants are actually a new species or only a variant of the original gene pool. Usually, some kind of dominate mutation has taken place that allowed the sub-species to survive better within a particular environment. My guess is that phenotifically different carp are just a genetic variation and not mutated sub-species. However, I have not done any of the leg work on this one so maybe you are right. I would like to see the various phenotypes and some data on their genotypes. It would be interesting to see if the genotype that produces the phenotype for wild common is interlocked with the genotype for length. Long lean common is probably the most dominate characteristic in the wild. However, I have also seen long lean mirrors, although, they are much rarer in the lakes I have fished. On the other hand, I have never seen a leather variety of the mirror or the nice short fat round shape similar to those being caught in France and other European countries where this strain was manipulated through breading by monks to create carp that would fit on a dinner plate more nicely than a long lean fish. I have never seen a common variety of this strain either. All the photographs, I have seen, are of leathers or mirrors. I have seen photos of this variety posted on the Internet meaning the short leather or mirror type caught here in the US. I am not sure of the internet link because I was just reading and I normally do not save the links. I do know they were fishing a small river in Philadelphia, so I guess I assumed this strain was more prevalent on the Eastern side of the US. However, I stand corrected. Also, I have notice that you and some of the guys from Philadelphia post photos of mirrors on a regular basis. I might see one mirror out of 1000 fish, so I would guess it is a recessive trait in the wild. But, it is odd to me that you guys catch so many of them. I helped with a catfish study on the Big Sioux River in South Dakota. We used hoop nets to catch catfish but we also caught carp in our hoop nets. About 1:8 was a mirror, so they might be more frequent than I think. On the other hand, all the lakes that I have fished, mirrors seem even rarer than in that river. John Keller was saying he is seeing 1:1,000 in SD lakes like Herman and Thompson. This year, I did not catch a single mirror in SD or ND. I did get one on a tiny lake in Illinois and I saw one in ND out of thousands and a few in SD that I did not catch, so I know they are there but they just seem to be the odd balls and very rare. My point is that if you are catching so many mirrors it might be possible you are catching the shorty variety too.

This is off the subject now of the original question, but what ratio of mirrors to commons are you catching?

Do the mirrors tend to be shorter at weights of 20 pounds or more or just the same length as the commons?

All the mirrors I have seen were long. Also, all the fat commons that I have caught or seen have been far and few between. In fact, I have only caught about four fish that were short and stocky, one being the 23 inch fish that weighed 10 pounds. Most everything I have seen has been a nice long lean common. I am just wondering if the phenotype for short stout fish is somehow interlocked with the phenotype for irregular scale pattern or more likely to express itself in carp that are mirrors. I was watching a Korda DVD given to me by David Moore and almost every fish they were catching was a short fat mirror or leather. The few commons they caught were all long lean commons. If you are catching 28-inch long 15-pound carp, my guess is they are of this mirror strain. Then again, maybe they were all commons. Just curious Scott, are your short heavy fish commons or mirrors?

Also, I like to say congratulations to you Scott Osmond! Too everyone who does not know, Scott has once again destroyed everyone on the ACS , year long, carp league. He has almost 3,000 more pounds of fish this year than anyone else and is well on his way to double his last years winning totals. Scott you have my vote this year once again for ACS angler of the year! I hope you get! You deserve it for not only all the fish you catch but also for all the work you do at the carp school and promoting our sport. Thanks.:D

But, I am warning you, next year, if I find a better lake to fish in California or I move back to South Dakota, I am going to be on your tail all year long. I probably caught 1,000 carp this year, but almost all of them were less than 10 pounds. I made three trips out to South Dakota for two CAG events on Lake Herman and one stop at Lake Thompson and I landed 1400 pounds of qualifying fish during those short sessions out of my 1700 for the season. I had 800 pounds, fishing only in the day, during the four day session on Lake Thompson. It is amazing the difference in carp general size from one river or lake to another. I think John and I had about a 14 pound average during both CAG events in SD and I average almost 15 pounds per a fish on Lake Thompson. Compare that to a 7 pound average on the Red River of the North in ND or 4 pound average on the local lakes in ND. The body of water sure makes all the difference in the world when comes to average size.

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Scott,

You make a very valid point here and you have seen way more fish and fished way more bodies of water than I have fished. You will get no argument from me.

I agree that it really does depend on the body of water and the variety or strain of Cyprinus carpio that is in that body of water.

However, I would not call them sub-species because they are still the same species.

Good point. I guess maybe sub-"strains"?

Dogs we call breads but Fishery Science uses the term variety or strain for fish varieties within the same species. Sub-species is a term used to define a species that has been isolated from the main gene pool and has developed into a group that has very different phenotypes and may look or behave totally different than the main species but is still genetically or genotypically the same. There is even some argument that these animals or plants are actually a new species or only a variant of the original gene pool. Usually, some kind of dominate mutation has taken place that allowed the sub-species to survive better within a particular environment. My guess is that phenotifically different carp are just a genetic variation and not mutated sub-species. However, I have not done any of the leg work on this one so maybe you are right. I would like to see the various phenotypes and some data on their genotypes. It would be interesting to see if the genotype that produces the phenotype for wild common is interlocked with the genotype for length. Long lean common is probably the most dominate characteristic in the wild. However, I have also seen long lean mirrors, although, they are much rarer in the lakes I have fished. On the other hand, I have never seen a leather variety of the mirror or the nice short fat round shape similar to those being caught in France and other European countries where this strain was manipulated through breading by monks to create carp that would fit on a dinner plate more nicely than a long lean fish. I have never seen a common variety of this strain either. All the photographs, I have seen, are of leathers or mirrors. I have seen photos of this variety posted on the Internet meaning the short leather or mirror type caught here in the US. I am not sure of the internet link because I was just reading and I normally do not save the links. I do know they were fishing a small river in Philadelphia, so I guess I assumed this strain was more prevalent on the Eastern side of the US. However, I stand corrected. Also, I have notice that you and some of the guys from Philadelphia post photos of mirrors on a regular basis. I might see one mirror out of 1000 fish, so I would guess it is a recessive trait in the wild. But, it is odd to me that you guys catch so many of them. I helped with a catfish study on the Big Sioux River in South Dakota. We used hoop nets to catch catfish but we also caught carp in our hoop nets. About 1:8 was a mirror, so they might be more frequent than I think. On the other hand, all the lakes that I have fished, mirrors seem even rarer than in that river. John Keller was saying he is seeing 1:1,000 in SD lakes like Herman and Thompson. This year, I did not catch a single mirror in SD or ND. I did get one on a tiny lake in Illinois and I saw one in ND out of thousands and a few in SD that I did not catch, so I know they are there but they just seem to be the odd balls and very rare. My point is that if you are catching so many mirrors it might be possible you are catching the shorty variety too.

Most of the waters near me have the usual 1:40-1:200 ratio of mirrors/commons, so I would imagine they were all stocked pretty much the same gene pool as most of the rest of the Country. BUT, most of the mirrors I catch are from one drainage, located in S-SE part of MA into RI; the Blackstone River drainage. Along this 50 or so mile river, the ratio in the river proper tends to be about 2:1 mirrors/commons, which in itself is pretty amazing. BUT, it's the lakes and ponds attatched to this flowage which really can be amazing! Many of these waters, ranging from 2 acres up to 1,000 acres, are usually near or 100% mirrors!! My guess is a private shipment of carp came in back in the late 1800's which may have been allocated to waters on this river system, and they may have originated from the same stock as found in most of England. Maybe just a fluke, but to us, they're pretty special.

Now, these aren't the same strain of fish usually found in places around the US where mirrors (usually Isreali) become wildized. These tend to be longer, more torpedo shaped fish, with heavy scaling...kinda like UK "Leney's". And, as their environ allows, can grow gigantic, to over 40lbs! So, most of our mirrors here are either from the Blackstone drainage, or incidental catches in our non Blackstone waters. It seems only when I travel have I encountered the short, stocky Isreali types, and these are usually isolated...

This is off the subject now of the original question, but what ratio of mirrors to commons are you catching?

When not fishing the Blackstone drainage, about the same as most; ie 1:50-100 or so....

Do the mirrors tend to be shorter at weights of 20 pounds or more or just the same length as the commons?

When I pick them up from our usual locations, they tend to be the same as the commons. When I catch them from the Blackstone drainage, they do tend to be a bit heavier for their length, but this I believe is due to the food sources available, rather than genetics, as they appear roughly the same general length as the commons are (roughly 32"/20lbs - 36"/27lbs - 40"/34+lbs - etc). But, individual fish vary. I landed a 42"er this year that was 34+lbs....and a 35"er which was 29lbs.

BUT, last year I was guided by a friend onto a lake down south with big Isreali's. I landed a 35+lber which was only 34" long. These Isrealis are probably what you may be referring to. But, we don't seem to have had any stocked near me, so most of my mirrors are pretty close to our commons in regards to length:girth:weight ratio...

All the mirrors I have seen were long. Also, all the fat commons that I have caught or seen have been far and few between. In fact, I have only caught about four fish that were short and stocky, one being the 23 inch fish that weighed 10 pounds. Most everything I have seen has been a nice long lean common. I am just wondering if the phenotype for short stout fish is somehow interlocked with the phenotype for irregular scale pattern or more likely to express itself in carp that are mirrors. I was watching a Korda DVD given to me by David Moore and almost every fish they were catching was a short fat mirror or leather. The few commons they caught were all long lean commons. If you are catching 28-inch long 15-pound carp, my guess is they are of this mirror strain. Then again, maybe they were all commons. Just curious Scott, are your short heavy fish commons or mirrors?

It varies so much on each water, but I find tidal rivers near me have a much higher ratio of thick, heavy commons than long torpedos found in many inland waters I fish. I have had, IMO, more "rotund" commons than I have mirrors, but this is just a by product of where I fish mostly and the fact we don't seem to have Isreali mirrors near me.

I think there may be a corrulation between fish reverting back to the dominant common gene, and the shape of the fish, though. The fish in the Blackstone River proper tend to be stout, and seem to be starting to revert back to commons as even 100% mirror waters will eventually. This could be what you mean.

Also, I like to say congratulations to you Scott Osmond! Too everyone who does not know, Scott has once again destroyed everyone on the ACS , year long, carp league. He has almost 3,000 more pounds of fish this year than anyone else and is well on his way to double his last years winning totals. Scott you have my vote this year once again for ACS angler of the year! I hope you get! You deserve it for not only all the fish you catch but also for all the work you do at the carp school and promoting our sport. Thanks.:D

But, I am warning you, next year, if I find a better lake to fish in California or I move back to South Dakota, I am going to be on your tail all year long. I probably caught 1,000 carp this year, but almost all of them were less than 10 pounds. I made three trips out to South Dakota for two CAG events on Lake Herman and one stop at Lake Thompson and I landed 1400 pounds of qualifying fish during those short sessions out of my 1700 for the season. I had 800 pounds, fishing only in the day, during the four day session on Lake Thompson. It is amazing the difference in carp general size from one river or lake to another. I think John and I had about a 14 pound average during both CAG events in SD and I average almost 15 pounds per a fish on Lake Thompson. Compare that to a 7 pound average on the Red River of the North in ND or 4 pound average on the local lakes in ND. The body of water sure makes all the difference in the world when comes to average size.

Thank you for the kind words! It's my passion!

But, if you fished the waters I do everyday, you'd understand where the numbers come from. And, next year, I will be concentrating on tournaments and big fish almost exclusively, thus won't be in the ACL. I know for a fact that once you get back to the waters you know well in the Dakotas, your numbers will soar!! And I will be watching, enjoying it! :D

I plan on hitting the SD/ND/IA/NE area next August...:D

Thanks.

Back to the original post. As you can see, it depends on these factors:

1. Genetics.

2. Enviroment (food/breeding grounds/preditors present/PH/etc)...

3. Age.

Most water I have fished tend to have these "rough" averages per length (average girth for length):

24" (14")= 7lbs

27" (16")= 9-10lbs

30" (19")= 12-13lbs

33" (22")= 17-19lbs

36" (24-25")= 25-28lbs

39" (27-28")= 33-36lbs

42" (28-30+")= 36-40+lbs

Of course the bigger the fish, the more these averages vary...:D

Hope it helps.

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