Ctenopharyngodon idella Valenciennes
Grass carp are native to large rivers in China and the Soviet Union. They commonly grow to 65-80 pounds but can get much larger. The growth rate of grass carp like other fish is dependent on temperature and water conditions. They reach maturity at 9-11 pounds at about 4 years of age.
Grass carp were first introduced into the U. S. in 1963 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for experiments in Arkansas. They were first legally introduced into Texas in 1981 when 270,000 were released in Lake Conroe to eliminate aquatic vegetation as part of a scientific investigation. The use of grass carp for biological control of aquatic weeds became legal in 1992 under regulations. Only triploid grass carp which are functionally sterile are allowed to be stocked in Texas waters.
Grass carp are now stocked in many water bodies in Texas. The stocking of this fish is regulated by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Be sure to contact them for more information and to obtain permits for their stocking.
Management recommendations are supplied by Texas Parks and Wildlife. Generally a stocking rate of 7 fish per acre is allowed.
Primarily submerged vegetation is impacted by grass carp. Hydrilla is one of the main target weeds.