Fish Identification Guide

Grass Carp
Ctenopharyngodon idella
Illustrations by Joe Tomelleri
Description: Robust, cigar-shaped fish with a broad, blunt head and terminal, horizontal mouth. Large dark-edged scales having a cross-hatched appearance. Pharyngeal teeth (located in throat at back of mouth) have deep parallel grooves. Native of eastern Asia that was brought to Arkansas waters and escaped. Jump out of water to avoid being captured. Adults have voracious appetites and primarily consume large amounts of aquatic vegetation but will also eat a wide variety of plant and animal material when preferred plants are unavailable. It is inefficient in digesting plant material, passing about half of it through undigested; the released nutrients can then cause extensive algae blooms.
Family: Minnow (Large)
Type: Non-Game Fish
Range: Missouri River and has been stocked in selected reservoirs, sandpits, and ponds statewide.

Source: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission website at