The asp is a European freshwater fish of the Cyprinid family. It is protected by the Bern Convention of endangered species and habitats (Appendix III). Asps are also on the IUCN Red List of endangered species.
Normally asps are between 10 and 80 centimeters in length, with some reaching 120 centimeters, and weighing up to 12 kg. It inhabits lakes and lower reaches of rivers and estuaries. In spring, in April–June, the asps migrates from lakes to streams for spawning. Spawning is triggered by the rise in temperature and usually starts at 6°C. The eggs attach to rocks, gravel and water plants. After around two weeks they hatch and the fry drift downstream to calmer waters.
Asps can be found in Estonia, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Slovenia, the Netherlands and Belgium. In Switzerland asps have immigrated through the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, as in Croatia, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. In the eastern regions of Europe it is a common species in flowing waters, and popular for fly other types of fishing.
Another species of asp (Aspius vorax) is found in abundance in the lakes and canals in what is now known as Camp Victory Base Complex near Baghdad International Airport. It is believed the asp is not native to this region but was imported to improve sport fishing opportunities for the pre-war ruling political party.
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- World Conservation Monitoring Centre (1996). Aspius aspius. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006.
- "Aspius aspius". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 30 January 2006.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Aspius aspius" in FishBase. January 2006 version.
- "Aspius aspius (Asp)". Iucnredlist.org. Retrieved 2011-12-23.