How to tell how old a carp is - Close up of carp underwater

As carp anglers, it’s beneficial to your fishing to build up a decent knowledge of the fish we all like to catch.

If you’ve got together all the tactics and approaches to put plenty of fish in the net then you might be looking to gain an understanding of the fish themselves.

I’ve seen many large fish pulled out of the water that looks old and weathered after years of swimming under the water and growing to large sizes, and have wondered how old the fish are.

Believe it or not, carp can live for decades.

So, how do fishery managers and scientists determine the age of carp?

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  • How to Tell How Old a Carp Is?

    Of course, we will be looking at the methods that can be done when the carp is still alive.

    There are conflicting studies on how accurate these methods are, but it will at least give you a rough gauge of how old the carp is if you are willing to take the time to check.

    Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to put age on old fish without proper inspection in a lab

    Fishery managers use these methods to provide valuable information on the management of the fishery and how they can maximise growth rates of the fish swimming in their waters.

    These methods are none destructive and are usually done by removing a scale from the fish for analysis.

    From these scale samples, you can also determine its growth spawning and other life history traits.

    To determine the age of the carp, the growth patterns in the scales are called “annuli” and counted, and from this, the age of the fish can be calculated.

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