South African Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) Information
A Good Invasive Fish Species: The Grass Carp
The Grass Carp is an invasive fish species in South African waters and is one of the strongest fighting fish of South Africa's freshwater fish species. Grass Carp were originally introduced into the country into farm dams to control the weed population. The Grass Carp was introduced from Malaysia and Germany between the years of 1967 and 1975. They were introduced into dams in KwaZulu Natal and the Mpumalanga provinces of South Africa and obviously there have been quite a few escapes and re-introductions as they are very well represented in many freshwater systems all over the country especially in the Vaal River. The Grass Carps preferred habitat includes large, slow moving or still water. Although they are often found in shallow streams and fast flowing rivers. Vegetation is important for the Grass Carp, so where there is no vegetation there will not be any Grass Carp. These Carp are very tolerant of temperature change and can withstand anything from 0-38 degrees! Their main food sources are aquatic vegetation, insects and invertebrates.
|Image obtained from Freshwater Fishes Of Southern Africa...|
The Grass Carp seem to be a favourite food for Barbel (Sharptooth Catfish) and thus are taking the predation pressure off Yellowfish and Moggel. These invasive fish can attain 1 meter and 45 kilograms although the South African record is just over 30 kilograms. The Grass Carp can also be used as bait for Barbel!
How to Catch The South African Grass Carp
The Grass Carp can be caught on many small baits or conventional Common Carp baits. Artlure/fly fishing can be very successful for targeting Grass Carp. Fly fishing for Grass Carp is becoming more and more popular and small nymphs, caddis imitations, worm patterns and various dry flies can be used to target the Grass Carp. This fish species is very strong and can keep you entertained for hours once you get your bait/lure presentation right...