Common Carp Cyprinus carpio (or carpe in French) is common in rivers, moats and étangs (fish ponds) in the Touraine and Brenne. They are easy to see in the water and potentially the largest fish you will encounter here (occasionally over a metre and weighing more than 30 kg) . They are not originally native to the area, but were brought here from south eastern Europe in the Middle Ages. They have been farmed here ever since, as well as living wild, and are considered good eating by the locals. They take 3 - 4 years to mature and can live up to 50 years. Females can lay up to a million eggs and spawning takes place in May - June. In the winter they retreat to deep muddy areas and hibernate. They are omnivorous.
In the moat at the Chateau of Chenonceau, June.
For an account of the traditional fish pond management system see our daily blog Days on the Claise.