The concentrations of 13 elements were determined in the muscle, liver, intestine, kidney, and gonads of cultured and wild carp caught at two sites in Lake Kasumigaura, Japan, between September 1994 and September 1995. Despite having a reputation for being heavily polluted, the carp were not heavily burdened with metals. Our results suggest that despite their dietary differences, the wild and cultured fish were accumulating and distributing metals in the same manner and that aquaculture practices are not increasing metal concentrations in these fish. Metal concentrations were lowest in muscle, and did not exceed established quality standards for fish. The differences in metal concentrations between cultivated and wild carp are negligible and should pose no health problems for consumers of either type of fish.