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 cm in length, with some reaching 120 cm, and weighing up to 12 kg. They inhabit lakes and lower reaches of rivers and estuaries. In spring, in April–June, asps migrate 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, Ukraine, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Slovenia, the Netherlands, and Belgium. In Switzerland, asps have migrated 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 and 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. The asp is not believed to be native to this region, but was imported to improve sport fishing opportunities for the prewar 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.