I saw these gigantic creatures slithering through the shallows — whipping up mud with each slap of the tail. They looked like radioactive versions of pond koi, ranging from about two to four feet long. And where I was, it was just me and and wind and the sound of their slither, evoking the Creature Features that mesmerized me when I was a kid.
But . . . they’re just carp. Common Carp, or sometimes, European Carp, or for the more pragmatic Cyprinus carpio. The “European” is probably a tip-off that they’re non-native, introduced in the late 19th century and prized at the time as a food fish. They’re often considered a nuisance for their habit of stirring up sediments during feeding, disturbing the area for other species. Of course, they can’t help it. It’s what they do.
From a visual perspective, though, they are spectacular. The late afternoon sun created this gold sheen on their scales. Unfortunately, they were so immersed in the mud, they didn’t cooperate for a mugshot. This is the best I got from them.