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Excerpt from an ODFW report released today:

Grass carp stocking rules amended

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission took action today to allow exceptions to the grass carp stocking rules, provided measures are taken that guarantee the non-native fish will not enter local waterways. As a result of the change, residents surrounding Laurel Lake near Bandon may apply to use grass carp to address problematic weed growth.

Prior to today's amendment grass carp could be stocked with a permit from ODFW, provided the water body is on private land, is less than 10 acres, has screen inlets and outlets to contain the carp, and is not in the 100-year flood plain. The grass carp must be sterile, longer than 12 inches, implanted with tags to identify the owner, and stocked at rates fewer than 22 per acre.

The new rules allow the Commission to grant exceptions to the water body size limit and floodplain requirement, provided the applicant can ensure that the carp will not leave the private pond or ditch. Each exception must be approved by the Commission on a site-by-site basis.

Grass carp eat aquatic vegetation. They are placed in small ponds or ditches to control nuisance aquatic plant growth. Grass carp that enter local waterways can disrupt aquatic plant communities and compete with native fishes and shellfish for food.

Laurel Lake residents, who initiated the request for the change in the grass carp rules, said they would be bringing forth a proposal to receive an exception to the rules and obtain a stocking permit.

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