Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)
Common Names: White Amur
Range: Grass Carp are native to rivers throughout Asia and have been introduced worldwide as a food fish. Because of its capabilities of aquatic vegetation control grass carp have been introduced in 35 states including Texas.
Description: The Grass Carp’s body is oblong in shape with moderate to large scales. They are silvery to olive color and can grow up to 80 pounds but individuals reaching upwards of 400 pounds have been reported.
Biology and Life History: Grass carp live in highly vegetated ponds or lakes. Their diet consists of aquatic plants. Spawning occurs in the spring when water temperatures reach above 53 degrees Fahrenheit. Eggs are semi-pelagic and must be suspended in the water column, making slow flowing rivers and streams an ideal environment for grass carp. They have a high tolerance for salinity and specimens have been reported to live for as long as 3 days in salt water. If one is caught in an area where a Triploid Grass Carp Permit is NOT in effect the angler must immediately remove its intestines and discard the fish.
Stocking: Grass carp are considered exotics in the state of Texas. Only triploid (sterile) grass carp are legal for use and a permit is required to obtain them. Do not stock grass carp in ponds without consulting an Texas A&M Agrilife Extension specialist. If a permit to stock grass carp is acquired and valid grass carp are recommended to be stocked at a density of 7 to 15 per acre.