Grass carp, White amur, Grass minnow (Ctenopharyngodon idella). What’s in a name? These fish are in the common carp family and are one of the world’s largest minnows. Perhaps we should call them Grass Minnows. They are originally from the Amur River in Siberia and China.
Size They grow rapidly, from 10” to 20” in one year and can reach a weight of 20 pounds (24” long) by their third year.
AppetiteThey eat only plants; lots of plants. As youngsters, they can eat five times their body weight in plants daily! As adults they still can eat 100% of their body weight each day during the warm weather.
What does triploid mean?Triploid grass carp (the only ones permitted in Florida) have three sets of chromosomes (instead of the normal two) which render them sterile. Triploids are produced artificially and regulated by the Fish & Wildlife Commission (FWC).
Would grass carp help my lake?Plants are a natural part of all lakes. Aquatic vegetation provides habitat for feeding, reproduction and shelter for many species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds. Fisheries biologists recognize that healthy balanced lakes have about 30% of the lake covered with plants.Certain plants, usually invasive, exotic species such as Hydrilla have no natural enemies in Florida. These plants can make your lake unusable and easily spread to other lakes. It’s in everyone's interest to eliminate these plants. Grass carp are an excellent solution to some weed problems.
How do I get grass carp?The FWC requires a simple and free application. A FWC biologist will evaluate your application and if the permit is approved, recommend the number of triploid grass carp to deal with your problem. If your site has escape routes, you are required to install a fish barrier before your permit is issued. Consent of all waterfront property owners is also required prior to permitting.
Fussy eatersGrass carp eat a lot, but they have very distinct tastes. They have to be on the verge of starvation before they will eat plants they don’t like. Their feeding preferences change as they mature. Visit http://aquat1.ifas.ufl.edu/photocom.html to see images of the plants.
Please call if you want more information about grass carp or plant control. (941) 284-0440
Crass Carp Favorite Food Frequently eatenBrazilian elodeaDuckweedElodeaHydrillaMusk-Grass, CharaPondweedSlender SpikerushSouthern NaiadWidgeon-grass
Sometimes eatenFilamentous AlgaeBladderwortCoontailEelgrassFanwortMaidencaneNaiad, MarineNitellaSalviniaSoft rushSpikerushTorpedo grassWater-meal Rarely eaten Alligator-WeedAmerican LotusAzollaBaby-tearsBacopaBog-MossBulrushBurhead SedgeCattailCommon ArrowheadDuck-PotatoFrog's-bitHygrophilaKnotgrassLimnophilaPara grassParrot's-featherPennywortPickerelweedRed LudwigiaRush FuirenaSawgrassSedgesSmartweedSpatterdockWater-hyacinthWater-lettuceWater-lily Water-shield
For more information regarding stocking fish and bio-control feel free to call our Beautiful Ponds office (941) 488-1942.