Story: Coarse fish

Coarse and fine scales

Coarse and fine scales

Coarse fish such as koi carp (left) are so named because some species have large, coarse scales compared to sports fish such as trout (right), which have fine scales. The terms ‘coarse fish’ and ‘sports fish’ have no taxonomic basis, but stem from the history of angling. Traditionally in Britain fishing for sports fish was the preserve of the wealthy and those who owned land, as many waterways were (and still are) privately owned. Coarse fish were usually the target of working-class anglers.

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How to cite this page:

Bob McDowall, 'Coarse fish - Cyprinids – goldfish, carp and others', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 6 October 2022)

Story by Bob McDowall, published 24 Nov 2008