The common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is an extremely interesting fish. They certainly are undervalued in the U.S. as people generally find them unpalatable. But they can be excellent sport, are one of the more intelligent fish species (in my experience) and can become very tame. The domesticated and highly prized ornamental koi are elaborate versions of the common carp. Many excellent sites have info and pictures that explain all the official varieties; a more general but informative site which also has products and pond info is http://www.koiandponds.com/varieties.htm and for serious koi enthusiasts:
http://www.tategoi-koi.com/Koi_Varieties.php But common carp are also very beautiful. In the next few weeks, carp in the James River will begin to move into the shallows to spawn. I often collect fertilized eggs from the vegetation in these areas to raise, mostly for fun.
Both of these carp are from the James River system: the fish on the left displays an interesting scale pattern, and the fish on the right was one of several I raised at the VLM from eggs collected at a nearby spawning site.