Abundant in many Minnesota lakes
and rivers, the
and generally considered to be undesirable. A large member
of the minnow family, the carp is native to Asia and has spread across
Europe where it is esteemed as both a food source and a sport fish. Carp
were first imported to the United States in 1831
or 1832. and
throughout the U'S. beginning in the late 1870s. Since it is both highly prolific
and tolerant of pollution as well as a variety of aquatic environments,
the carp has spread across North America. It is not only a nuisance, but
threatens native species by both competing for food and increasing the turbidity
(muddiness) of the waters it inhabits
(Mississippi National River And Recreation Area,
Considered a "rough fish" by Minnesota anglers, the carp is gaining popularity in other parts of the US and is a much-sought-after species in Europe, particularly in the UK where carp fishing is practically a science. Some British anglers even travel to the US in search of "trophy" carp! They can't understand why we'd prefer catching a two-pound walleye to a 20-pound carp. In case you're interested, the Minnesota record carp weighed 55 pounds, 5 ounces and was caught in Clearwater Lake (Minnesota DNR, 2014).
Unlike the carp, the other three
species included in this question
are all native to Minnesota. However, none is of significant importance
Photos courtesy of Jay T. Hatch, Natural History of Minnesota Fishes. Reprinted with permission.
Background courtesy of Kelly's Kreations.