Grass Carp
(Ctenoparyngodon idella)

The  grass carp,  also  called  white amur,  is  one  of  the  largest members of  the  minnow  family,  and  often  reaches  weights  in excess  of  25 pounds.  White amurs  are  native  to  larger  East Asian  rivers with Pacific drainages, including their namesake, the Amur River  on the Chinese-Siberian border.  Introductions have expanded  their range  into over  50  countries  and  according to some  researchers,  at  least  40  U.S.  states.

The grass carp  is related to both  the common carp and goldfish, but do not have barbels around the mouth as the common carp do. They also have soft dorsal and anal fin rays rather than the spiny rays of common  carp or goldfish.  Their body  shape resembles a large  creek chub or common shiner.  The  color of the grass carp varies from grey to golden  brown or bronze on the back, shading to  white  on  the  belly.

Sterile  or triploid  grass  carp  are the  only type  of grass carp that are  legal to  stock in  New York State.  Triploid grass carp are  created by  subjecting the fertilized  eggs to high pressures or temperature shock.   These procedures result  in the retention of  an extra  chromosome  set,  rendering  the  fish  incapable  of producing  viable young.   The sterile  or  triploid  offspring  are identical  to the fertile  or diploid parents with the  exception of this  extra  chromosome set.

The  stocking  of fertile  or diploid  grass carp  is  prohibited  in New York State.   This  is  due  to concerns   over  the  potential impact  they  may  have  on   sensitive  aquatic  habitats  if  their reproduction  is  not  controlled.

Stocking  rates for  grass carp need to be carefully assessed for each  body of  water.  These  fish have  voracious  appetites  and overstocking  can  result  in  the  removal  of  too  much   aquatic vegetation.  If the grass carp consume too many plants, important habitat is destroyed, and sport fish populations can be adversely effected.  Therefore  it is recommended  that  aquatic vegetation be  maintained at  approximately 20-30%  of the  ponds  surface area.  Stocking  rates will  vary between  5 and 15  fish per acre depending on the amount and type of vegetation, depth and age of the  pond,   and  the  type  of  water  supply  feeding  your  pond.  
A permit  must be  obtained  from  the  New York State Dept. of Environmental  Conservation before  grass carp can be purchased or stocked.   Applications  are  available  through  DEC Regional offices,  or we can mail you  a permit application.   The DEC does not charge for the grass carp stocking permit.  When you receive your   permit   (usually   within   2   weeks  of   submitting   your application)  it will indicate the maximum number of fish you may purchase.  This number  is based on information you supply about your  pond  on  the  application. (Learn More about the application process HERE.)

When  you purchase  your  grass carp  they will average about 12 inches  in length.   They will  grow about an inch per month during the   summer   season.   By   the   first  November  they  will   be approximately  18   inches   long.    Winter   survival   rates   are excellent providing depth, water movement, and oxygen levels are adequate.  Your fish will normally live from 5 to 10 years in your pond.   Future   stockings   are   necessary  as  the  fish  age  and eventually  die.   You  will  know  when   restocking  is  necessary because  of  the  increase  of  aquatic  vegetation  in  your  pond.

Grass  carp  are  stocked in  the spring,  approximately  between April 15th  and June 10th.  success with a fall   stocking   from   September  1st   through   October   15th.

Finger Lakes Aquaculture 7627 County Rd. 36 
Naples, NY 14512 
(585) 374-2974 
Phil Faber - Owner