Bighead Carp ( Hypophthalmichthys nobilis )
Common Name: Carp
Local Name: Karpa, Imelda, Black Mass (Tagalog); ??(Bisaya)
Max Size: 146 cm (40+kgs)
Biodiversity: Freshwater, Benthopelagic
Depth: 1 – ?? meters
Fishing Season: All Year Long
Minimum Size Limit: None
Recommended Bait/Lures: masa (dough bait)
IUCN Red List Status Status: Data Deficient (DD)
The Bighead Carp is a species not native to the waters of the Philippines. These fish native to mainland Asia were introduced for use in the aquaculture industry as a food fish. Because of their rapid growth these carp are ideal for fish pond or fish pen grow outs. These carp are now quite well established around the freshwater waterways of Luzon including lakes, rivers and reservoirs. Because of they are an introduced species and unknown to most, they are often called by many different names. Names such as Imelda, Karpa, and Black Mass are just a few.
These carp can be quite a challenge for the sport fisherman because they feed mainly on zooplankton and algae. sweet scented dough baits that dissolve slowly in the water are often used as bait. Larger fish do occasionally surprise and take other types of bait and even an occasional lure. Other methods used locally to catch these fish include Salvage (snagging with treble hooks) and nets.
According to a recent article in a local news paper bighead carp are now more heavily stocked than milkfish in grow out fish pens in Laguna Lake. Such quantity being raised shows that this introduced species is now accepted as a food fish on a large scale.