CHICAGO — A huge, almost 40-pound common carp was caught Wednesday on the Far South Side.
The fish was caught by the aquatic ecology team from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago while they were near the Halsted Street Bridge on the Little Calumet River, according to a tweet from the agency.
The common carp is “the biggest fish we have ever caught in the Chicago Area Waterway System,” weighing in at 39.6 pounds, according to the Water Reclamation District.
The carp was gravid, meaning it was carrying eggs. It was put back in the river after being analyzed.
Common carp are not native to the United States — though they’ve been spotted in Illinois since at least 1894 — and are often considered “pest fish” that can disrupt environments, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The fish can weigh up to 80 pounds and grow to be 5 feet long over about a 20-year lifespan, according to the Clean Lakes Alliance. They typically spawn in the spring to early summer in shallow waters, with one female fish able to produce hundreds of thousands of eggs every season.