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Grass Carp Species Breakdown

Scientific Name: Ctenopharyngodon idella

Also Known As: white amur & silver orf

Grass Carp are members of the minnow family. They are herbivores that love eating weeds. This has helped spread them across the globe as governments and private pond owners import them for their usefulness in weed control.

How to Identify a Grass Carp

Grass carp are large, thick-bodied with a wide head with small eyes that are low on it’s head. Their scales appear crosshatched and are large with dark edging. Grass carp don’t have barbels which are common on other carp.

They have short a pointy dorsal fin with 7-8 rays. Their anal fin have 9 or fewer rays. Both their dorsal fin and anal fin are barbless on the leading edge.

They are olive-brown on their back, with silver sides and a white belly.

Grass Carp Size

Grass carp can grow up to 90 lbs and 5ft long. They are more commonly caught around 10-20 lbs and 2-3ft long.

Grass Carp Size Chart – Length to Weight Conversion

15″4 lbs
18″5 lbs
20″6 lbs
22″7 lbs
24″8 lbs
26″9 lbs
28″11 lbs
30″13 lbs
32″15 lbs
34″17 lbs
36″20 lbs
38″23 lbs
40″27 lbs
42″32 lbs
44″38 lbs
46″44 lbs
48″50 lbs
50″56 lbs
52″64 lbs
54″70 lbs
56″77 lbs

View World & State Grass Carp Records

Where Grass Carp Are Found

Grass carp are native to east Asia, southern Russia, and north Vietnam. They have been introduced throughout the world for weed control and aquaculture purposes. They are very popular in private ponds for their weed control.

Lifespan of a Grass Carp

Grass carp can live up to 15 years in captivity or 5-10 years in the wild. They grow very quick during their first year, reaching up to 18″ long. You can tell the general age of grass carp by referring to the table below.

Grass Carp Age Chart

1 Year Old15 – 18 inches
2 Years Old18 – 23 inches
3 Years Old23 – 28 inches
4 Years Old28 – 33 inches
5 Years Old33 – 35 inches
6 Years Old35 – 37 inches
7 Years Old37 – 39 inches
8 Years Old39 – 41 inches
9 Years Old41 – 42 inches
10 Years Old42 – 43 inches
11 Years Old43 – 44 inches
12 Years Old44 – 45 inches
13 Years Old45 – 46 inches
14 Years Old46 – 47 inches
15 Years Old47 – 48 inches

Fishing for Grass Carp

Are grass carp hard to catch?

Grass carp aren’t the easiest fish to catch. They are quite skittish and will spit out anything that gives much resistance, like a tight fishing line. It is best to use slight slack until they fully bite your bait.

What size hook do you use for grass carp?

The best hook to use for carp fishing is a 4/0 circle hook.

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What type of bait to use for grass carp?

My favorite bait when fishing for grass carp is canned corn. I put as many kernels that can fit on a 4/0 circle hook and let it sit on bottom until I feel a bite.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are grass carp good to eat?

Grass carp are better tasting than most would expect. Due to their vegetarian diet they have a light flavoring with a white tender texture.

Are grass carp invasive species?

Grass Carp are an invasive species. They are native to Asia, and were introduced to the US to control plant growth in aquaculture ponds. After being imported they quickly spread the country and can now be found in most parts of the US.

What do grass carp eat?

Grass carp eat soft submerged vegetation including hydrilla, elodea, bladderwort, coontail, milfoil, pondweeds, and nitella.

They avoid woody or hard stemmed plants such as cattails and lillypads.

Grass carp can eat up to 3 times their body weight in plants per day.