When Do Carp Spawn: Why It Is Important To Know?
Carps usually spawn between April and August depending on the local climate. This type of fish is known for having a highly reproductive system. An adult carp could produce up to 1 million eggs in its entire lifetime. 90 percent of the eggs it produces will be fertilized while more than 80 percent of the eggs will hatch. The eggs are covered by a sticky substance and are usually deposited in submerged objects.
The fish do not provide parental care to either the eggs or young. The fish begins to actively feed once it reaches about a third of an inch. I often meet anglers who ask me when do carp spawn. In this article, I provide details about carps spawning and why anglers should know when and where carps spawn.
When Do Carp Spawn: Why It Is Important to Know?Timing Of ReproductionWhere And When Do Carp Spawn?What Do Spawning Carp Eat?Do Carps Eat Their Own Eggs?How Do Carp Spawn?Beneficial Physiological ChangesWhy Is It Important To Know When Carp Spawn?
Timing Of Reproduction
Several factors determine the development of carp eggs including water temperature, food availability, the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water, and the number of daylight hours. The ripening of the female carps’ eggs is stimulated by the release of Gonadotropin hormones. Carps in temperate zones become sexually mature in two years and often spawn in spring. However, carps in tropical regions may spawn more than once. Scarcity of food may cause carps to spawn fewer eggs at a time.
Carps that are sexually mature develop different features involving large ovaries and plumpness around the stomach. On the other hand, males have smaller testes, which allow them to retain the torpedo-like shapes. Males that are ready for spawning usually have breeding nodules on the head and pectoral fins along the fin ray bones.
The breeding nodules usually appear as fine, whitish raised spots and are often rough to the touch. Breeding occurs when the male nudges the female with its head and fins encouraging it to spawn.
Where And When Do Carp Spawn?
Carps spawn in spring or early summer. They prefer to spawn in weedy and grassy areas of shallow lakes and watercourses. Carps often spawn when water levels are rising, which is why heavy rains and flood conditions trigger a mad fury for carp spawning. Their wallowing and splashing during spawning can sometimes be heard from a distance. All the physical activities involved in spawning is designed to spread the adhesive eggs.
What Do Spawning Carp Eat?
Carps are usually not very interested in eating during spawning. However, they usually look for food after spawning. I have found many pre and post spawning carps in the waters where spawning occurs. These are usually my favorite spots for carp fishing.
Do Carps Eat Their Own Eggs?
Carp population is usually self-regulating. Adult carp fish in dense populations often eat their own eggs and larvae. Declining adult carp fish ensures the survival of young carp, which leads to the emergence of a strong generation.
How Do Carp Spawn?
Carp spawning starts with male and female carps swimming side by side. A female carp can have up to seven males fertilizing her eggs simultaneously. However, each female carp may have an average of three to four males fertilizing its eggs. In addition, spawning may occur over several days.
First, the female carp releases eggs into the water. The number of eggs it releases is determined by its age, health, size, and number of times it has produced eggs before. Carp sperm motility is usually high and can last 30 to 60 seconds. Each egg released by the female is fertilized by one sperm. Fertilization occurs when the sperm enters the micropyle. Once this occurs, the eggs absorb water and enlarge.
Beneficial Physiological Changes
Crap eggs may be amber, orange, or yellow depending on water temperature and stage of development. The eggs comprise of a yolk surrounded by two membrane layers. The eggs often float unprotected for 24 to 30 hours before hatching.
Fertilized eggs are often small and sticky. They are dispersed widely and deposited randomly in shallow waters. The sticky nature of the eggs causes them to become attached to submerged grasses, weeds, and other substances. The un-hatched carp or fry usually live off the yolk sac, which contains all the nutrients the fry needs to survive.
The yolk sac will be completely used up by the time the fry reaches 8mm long. However, the fry usually inflates its swim bladders with air before the yolk sac is completely used up. This enhances its movement on water. At this stage, the fry feeds on micro-planktons and water fleas. If hatching happens during the onset of winter, the young fry will not have enough fat reserves and will soon die.
Young carps prefer to stay in shallow waters with dense plant growth to prevent them from being swept away by currents and protect them from predators. This is when carps learn to coordinate their movements and to flee from danger. Once they grow bigger, carps leave the shallows and swim to deeper waters to join schools of carps. Growth occurs fastest when the waters are warm and rich in food.
Why Is It Important To Know When Carp Spawn?
Several factors trigger carp spawning including water temperature and water levels. There are two distinct spawning seasons in the Southern United States: spring and fall. In the northern states, fall spawn may not occur at all or just occasionally. The conditions and not the days of the calendar determine when carps will spawn.
Experienced anglers understand why it is important to know when carps spawn. Some of my best catches have been facilitated by proper timing of the spawning season. Accurate prediction of carps spawning has enabled me to capitalize on the great fishing that occurs before and during spawning.
Carps may also experience protracted or fractional spawning, which means that they do not all breed at the same time. The spawning process may occur within a period of a month or more. Spawning may also be broken up with one group of carps spawning early and other groups spawning later. No one knows exactly why carps experience fractional or protracted spawning. However, the time and length of time the ideal conditions coincide may explain why.
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