In yesterday’s post we highlighted some of the results from our fourth, and most recent, sampling event. In today’s post, we will be talking about what we caught in the event prior.
The third sampling event took place from March 29th to April 2nd. No river herring were caught; however, we did catch a number of large common carp (Cyprinus carpio), each weighing around 10 to 11 lbs. Common carp are not native to NJ, or to the United States for that matter. They were first introduced to North American in 1831 by Captain Henry Robinson of New York who brought them over from France. In a little over 50 years, common carp had become established in waterbodies throughout the nation. In New Jersey, common carp are present in almost every lake, pond, river, or stream. They have a long lifespan, living anywhere from 12 to 20 years. They forage on the bottom sediments of waterbodies, using their fleshy barbels to taste for insects and other invertebrates. Yet they are largely non-discriminant eaters, often consuming vegetable matter in addition to insects (NJDEP).
In addition to the common carp, we also caught one mirror carp (Cyprinus carpio carpio). The mirror carp is a variant of the common carp that is differentiated by its irregular, patchy scaling pattern. The difference in scales is the result of variants in two genes.
Another notable catch during the third sampling event was of a chain pickerel (Esox niger). This was our first catch of this species in Wreck Pond.