Using Grass Carp for Vegetation Control
The grass carp, also known as white amur, is a vegetarian fish native to the Amur River in Asia. Because this fish feeds on aquatic plants, it can be an effective biological tool for control of nuisance vegetation. The US Fish and Wildlife Service introduced grass carp into the United States in 1963 for experimental purposes. Since 1992, Texas has allowed stocking of triploid grass carp, a sterile form of the species, with a permit from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Many have asked, “Since triploid grass carp are sterile, why is a permit required?” These fish are permitted so that TPWD can keep track of the location and number of grass carp in the environment. Impoundments on permanently flowing creeks, or those that overflow frequently, should not be stocked with triploid grass carp unless they can be effectively screened. Preventing escapement helps protect beneficial aquatic vegetation in our public waters. Although triploid grass carp can’t reproduce, they can live for years, potentially migrate to sensitive areas, and consume a great deal of vegetation.