Carp is the most significant type of fish in plain area waters, both from the commercial and gastronomic and sport aspect. Most often it inhabits canals, lakes and calmer rivers, and for its habitat it usually chooses tree logs and trunks which have been submerged in water for a long time.
The value of carp was first noted by ancient Romans, and later it was moved from Europe to North America and Australia. Today carp farming has become a special science discipline which is carefully studied in developed countries but in our country as well.
Body of carp is elongated and round and its head large, mouth are surrounded by four outgrowths in the form of whiskers. It has one back fin which starts with a sharp spoke. The back side of the body may have different colours, depending on the habitat while the belly side is mostly lighter. Carp specimens may achieve the length of up to 1 m and mass of above 20 kg.
Carp meat is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) because it contains easily digestible proteins and its Omega-3 fatty acids have a preventive influence on the heart muscle activity as well as on entire well-being of people.
As food, carp is very quickly and easily prepared and is a staple during the period of family saints celebrations during the Lent, and people who take care of their health eat it on regular basis.
Silver carp was brought to our region from China. It is cultivated in fish farms, and it has inhabited the Danube and its affluents. It is brought into our waters in artificial way by stocking with fish and most often together with the grass carp. Toss two fishes live in some kind of symbiosis i.e. grass carp feeds on higher water plants – phytoplankton (algae and unicellular organisms), and silver carp feeds on the lower ones.
Silver carp is very important for maintenance of the oxygen water regimen because it cleans the water from grass. There are two known types of silver carp: white (lat. Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and grey (lat. Hypophthalmichthys nobulus).
Its body is high, flat on the sides and its head is wide – with fat forehead and eyes lowered below the longer side of the body axis. That is why it was named after its fat forehead (in Russian “толсти лоб – “tolstij lob” means fat forehead) or big head. Its lower jaw is protruding and moves upwards. Its back is dark grey, its sides silver and belly white. It has irregular streaks of dark red and brown. Chest fins reach the belly fins, they are flattened and pointing towards the back. The tail fin is extremely big and well incised, and the back fin is short and elevated. Its fins are grey and sometimes with dark red and plain red shading. Its scales are small and thin.
Silver carp is a river, white and lean fish. Its meat is extremely juicy. It has strong and big bones and may be eaten without a problem and easily which is why it is a real gourmet treat.
Grass carp originates from the river of the same name (Amur) on the border between Chine and Russia. It was brought to our waters from Hungary, in order to feed on the vegetation in smaller canals and prevent their entanglement. Thanks to its tasty and good quality meat, it quickly became a part of regular fish farm breeding. Supporting the quality of the grass carp is the fact that in its country of origin, China, it has been bred and eaten for over 2.000 years.
Grass carp is an herbivore which belongs to the carp genus of fish. Its mouth are strong and spiky, intended for tearing of the water plants and its forehead is wide.
It has a strong and sinewy body – its back is grey-green and sides gently flattened with light coloured belly and grey fins. It may even reach the length of up to 2 metres and its mass may reach above 50 kg (although the fishing average is from 3 to 12 kg).
Grass carp meat is lean and tasty and that makes it a favourite during the period of family saints celebrations during the Lent. Also, its meat is often included in the menus of various forms of dietary regimens.