This study evaluated the influence of toxic cyanobacterial water blooms on the blood indices of the common carp, Cyprinus carpio L. Experimental fish were exposed to a natural population of cyanobacterial water blooms (mainly Microcystis aeruginosa and M. ichthyoblabe), which contained microcystins [total concentration 133-284 μg g⁻¹ (DW), concentration in water 2.8-7.4 μg L⁻¹]. Haematological indices showed marked changes in fish exposed to the cyanobacterial population in comparison with the control group. Statistical evaluation of the influence of cyanobacterial water blooms on biochemical indices of the juvenile carp showed a distinct decrease in albumin, alanine aminotransferase, total bilirubin, calcium, cholesterol, glucose, phosphorus and iron when compared to controls. Values of red blood counts [haemoglobin, haematocrit (PCV), mean corpuscular haemoglobin and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration] and lactate were significantly increased compared to controls. After exposure to cyanobacterial water bloom, the carp were kept in clean water to monitor the persistence of biochemical indices. The influence of cyanobacterial populations on calcium, cholesterol, glucose, lactate, phosphorus and PCV persisted up to 28 days after conclusion of the experiment. Duration of exposure, toxicity and density of cyanobacterial water blooms had an important impact on individual haematological indices.