While I was holding my breath and hoping that the common carp from the previous post would show up on video, I was hearing a lot of sucking noises from fish feeding on the other side of the road. I waded across the road and lowered the camera into the water. I did not even see the fish because I was concentrating on what I was doing. The resulting video shot was perfect – camera lowering into the murky water, fish swimming up towards the camera, turning, and disappearing into the unknown.
Apparently there are two kinds of grass carp – diploid and triploid. Diploid are normal fish and escapees from a legal experiment, which sounds vaguely like something out of a low budget SyFy channel movie. The triploid are genetically modified to be sterile and are purposely introduced into some bodies of water to control the growth of aquatic vegetation.
Anglers are instructed to kill diploid grass carp because their uncontrolled population growth can damage the aquatic environment by stripping it of vital vegetation.
Fun fact: One has to have a permit to obtain and use triploid grass carp in Texas. It is illegal to kill triploid carp. Texas Parks and Wildlife has a registry of triploid carp locations.
Upon further research, my grass carp is probably diploid.
The grass carp is one of the largest members of the minnow family. The body is oblong with moderately large scales, while the head has no scales. There are three simple and seven branched rays on the dorsal fin. Grass carp are silvery to olive in color, lacking the golden hue of common carp, and they have no barbels. This species typically reaches sizes of 65 to 80 pounds in its native habitat, but individuals approaching 400 pounds have been reported.