chesapeake bay common carp

Common carp are found in low salinity areas of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, especially in tidal rivers, coves, and creeks. Carp are often found in shallow, slow moving water with muddy bottoms. They also feed in areas where aquatic vegetation is plentiful.

Carp sometimes appear in schools, moving slowly with their backs or tails out of the water. In spring, carp put on spectacular displays while spawning in shallow water. Young carp are sometimes confused with wild goldfish, which have been introduced in some waterways of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

In some areas, common carp populations have expanded as northern snakeheads displaced native species that normally prey on juvenile carp.

Common carp are sometimes targeted by anglers. Carp enthusiasts often use specially prepared baits and rigs. Carp are occasionally caught with artificial lures, especially soft plastics worked along the bottom.

The Maryland state record common carp (Cyprinus carpio carpio) in the Chesapeake Division was caught in the Susquehanna Flats area of the Chesapeake Bay by an angler using bass fishing gear.

Related Information

Chesapeake Bay Saltwater Fish

River Fish Species

Maryland MD State Record Carp