Asp (fish)

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Aspius aspius.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Genus: Aspius
Species: A. aspius
Binomial name
Aspius aspius
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The asp (Aspius aspius) 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.


  1. ^ "Aspius aspius (Asp)". Retrieved 2011-12-23.