Grass carp

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species' started by HogWrangler, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. HogWrangler Member

    Posts: 331
    Stanwood WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Does anyone know why there is no open season for grass carp? They aren't native, and they sure would be fun to catch.
  2. SuperDave New Member

    Posts: 341
    .Spanaway, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Most, if not all, Grass Carp have been intentionally planted by property owners to help control on-going weed infestation propblems. Duck Lake at Ocean shores is a good example.

    SuperDave
  3. SilverFly Ancient Steelhead Sensei

    Posts: 333
    Camas, WA
    Ratings: +24 / 0
    You're not the first one to have this thought.

    Here ya go!
  4. Brent Scott New Member

    Posts: 63
    Renton, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Youre not the only one to think of this, there is a small lake on the west side of Washington just below the town of Black Diamond that is outside of Auburn that has very large grass carp. You can fish it anytime of the year and its a hoot witha fly rod when ya catch those big monsters. I'll get the name of the lake when I talk to my brother tonight, and post it for ya
  5. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,144
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,411 / 0
    Be sure you read the regs as not all lakes are open for those fish.

    And don't anybody jump on my ass about reading the regs as I'm sure that he has. But this is intended for those who haven't.
  6. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,747
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +551 / 0
    Remember the grass carp that are planted in Washington are require to be triploids (sterile) fish so there is no reproduction. To insure that the fish are sterile the folks planting them have to have the fish certified which required a blood test. The typical fish planted are imported from out of State and would be in the 8-10 inch range and costs nearly $10/fish. As a result the individuals or lake management groups that plant the fish aren't anxious to have the fish removed from their waters -thus the closure.

    Those planting the lakes also often have to come up with management plans and insure that any outlets of pond/lake is adequately screened to keep the fish where they were wanted. The studies, screeening and cost of planting can add up to a significant cost.

    Tight lines
    Curt
  7. Dale Dennis Formally Double-D

    Posts: 527
    Arlington, WA
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    Thanks Smalma for bringing that up. Not only are they off limits to fishing but in the south east it has been proven that they are just about next to impossible to catch with anything but a seining net and that is even a difficult task. They are grass eaters and have been known to eat invertebrates only when there is no vegetation left.
    The only reason I know this as I have had to do some research because of the Lone Lk. Home Owners Association had expressed interest in planting them for weed control, so far the WDFW are reluctant to give them permission.
    I also have reservations to putting carp in a selective fishery lake.
  8. Jeff Dodd Active Member

    Posts: 1,530
    Langley, WA
    Ratings: +323 / 0
    Double-D/Smalma
    I live near Lone Lake and REALLY hope a long-term solution for the weeds is found. The sterile carp seem like the answer to the lay person.

    Can you provide a basic explanation of WDFW's concerns with planting Carp in a lake such as Lone Lake?

    Good or Bad, there are a lot of Bass in Lone Lake. Maybe the Carp would become expensive bass food :(

    Thank you in advance,
    Jeff
  9. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,747
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +551 / 0
    Jeff -
    To get what WDFW's concerns you probably need to talk with them.

    However it is important to remember that the use of grass carp is just addressing a symptom of a sick lake and not the problem. The underline problem of course is excessive nutrients (spectic tank failures?). The grass carp will reduce/elinimate the weeds but the nutrients will just be re-cycled into the lake. If that nutrient load isn't taken up by weed growth the next logical step would be to see huge algae blooms and if those blooms were dominated by blue greens one could even a much worst situation for the fish. In those situations it is not unusaul to see wide water chemistry swings, high PHs, and diurnal dissolved oxygen swings. Seen cases where in the early mornings or during periods of prolong cloud cover that the oxygen levels would drop to levels too low to support trout.

    It appears the bass are in the lake to stay - don't see the State ever "rehab" the lake again. Therefore the best hope to sustain some sort of reasonable trout fishery is having a balanced bass population. It may surprise some that have the bass population dominated by large fish is actually the best for the trout if the two are to co-exist. The large bass control the smaller bass reducing the food competition between the bass and trout - the larger bass generally feed on a high trophic level than the trout while the trout and small bass share many of the same food sources.

    In addition a key to having balanced bass population is having some "weed" cover - the literature seems to indicate that have 30/35% cover is near ideal. The problem with grass carp is that typically they end up removing the nearly all the weeds - they are long lived and get quite large so even a few carp can achieve a significant biomass requiring a large food source. Experiencing is proving that the expected result of adding grass carp to a lake's ecosystem is the complete removal of the weed crop.

    Bottom line adding grass carp to the lake is unlikely to address the underlying problem and may actually make things worst for the fish and ultimately the fishers.

    Tight lines
    Curt
  10. Paul Huffman Lagging economic indicator

    Posts: 1,402
    Yakima, WA.
    Ratings: +114 / 0
    I've brought this problem up before.

    For sure, there are a few places where expensive triploid grass carp are planted for macrophyte control, but everywhere else it's clear they are escapees and possibly not sterile. Most areas of the country are finding breeding grass carp a problem (see The Public Sector Role in the Establishment of Grass Carp int the United States, Fisheries, March 2006), and it seems to me to be becoming a problem in Washington. Yet it's in the regulation packet three times as if to emphasize that it's prohibited in all waters of the state. Is is like the old joke "If we let you bring your alligator into this bar, we will have to let everyone bring his alligator in here!", a regulation on a non-existing problem?

    I can't imagine any enforcement officer would try to enforce this regulation in a lake where grass carp were not intentionally released and covered by a permit. Enforcement would have a problem with proving intent since I would be fishing in waters with mostly common carp and no one knows much about flies particularly targeting grass carp. (Unless they used this post as evidence of intent.) Even if they witnessed me pulling a grassy out of a shoal of common carp and quickly releasing it, I can't image any reasonable officer would pull out the ticket book. Also, I haven't noticed any enforcement attention devoted to the carp flats.
  11. Paul Huffman Lagging economic indicator

    Posts: 1,402
    Yakima, WA.
    Ratings: +114 / 0
    In 2005, I asked the District 9 WDFW office if they knew about grass carp loose in the mid-Columbia and got this response:

    July 21, 2005 "Thank you for the information on the grass carp you saw. It is hard to say whether they are sterile or not. It seems there were some illegal plants of diploid grass carp into some waters of eastern Washington or Oregon that were prosecuted a few years ago. Maybe we can get a hold of these fish you saw and get them tested to see if they are sterile. If they are diploid we would certainly have to look at regulation changes. Thanks you for contacting us. Sincerely, John Weinheimer, District 9 Fish Biologist, (360)906-6746."

    I'm taking this as a directive to catch a few to get scales and DNA samples, and that's what I'm going to tell them in court. ;)

    Biologists from my local region 3 office speculated that the grass carp I've seen in the Mid Columbia could have came from Silver Lake, where extensive flooding allowed escape to the lower Columbia in 1996. This same event is mentioned in this AFS report:http://afs.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1577%2F1548-8659%281999%29128%3C0374%3AOOGCIT%3E2.0.CO%3B2

    Last year, I reviewed a proposal to use grass carp right up the road from Yakima: DNS I told the Sepa Coordinator that the legal description was wrong on this. She told me it really should be Sec 4 - Twn 13 - Range 18, and would be amended but the PDF on this link still shows the wrong legal. But just about any pond along the old Naches highway is subject to flooding and the subsequent escape of grass carp.

    When I lived out at Ocean Shores, WA, the City of Ocean Shores introduced some very expensive grass carp to Duck Lake to control vegetation and the results were disappointing. Most of the grass carp seemed to disappear. So the City of Ocean Shores decided to plant more in 2002. It didn't make much sense to me.

    If you read the March 2006 article in Fisheries, you see that the authors are real hard on our governmental agencies, implicating them in the spread of problem breeding populations of grass carp throughout the US, first through promoting them as a biological control of macrophytes when they didn't really work very well in most places, then not assuring that all releases were sterile, and even allowing escapes of diploid specimens from their own facilities.
  12. Jeff Dodd Active Member

    Posts: 1,530
    Langley, WA
    Ratings: +323 / 0
    Kurt,
    Thank you for the response, the issues you raise likely are issues that the home owners surrounding the lake need to address! For living so close to the lake, I am not very well versed in the issues surrounding the weed problem:eek:

    Before your post, I casually understood the problem to be: the weed was introduced and thrived, and now that WDFW/Island County have partnered with Lone Lake homeowners to combat the weeds, we've got a "Neutrient Load" rotting on the bottom of the lake. Citizens have worked hard (along with much support from the Evergreen Fly Fishing Club and Whidbey's FF Club:beer2: ) to remove organic material to reduce this "Load", but for as for last summer, it was too late. Lone Lake did suffer from toxic algea bloom and was closed to swimming.

    At present, the water level is very high and the clarity is good, but we'll see what summer brings. The level of the chemical used to kill the weed growth is still present and reportedly on schedule for something just short of 100% kill of weeds.

    With a generous triploid plant of fish by both the State and the Evergreen fly fishing club, fishing for rainbow trout is great! I suspect the bass are suffering from the loss of lilly pads and weed cover, as they are difficult to find.

    Paul: Thanks for the information related to this issue. I've got some reading to do...

    Jeff
  13. HogWrangler Member

    Posts: 331
    Stanwood WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0

    Old man, where do you think i found about about the closed season?:)
  14. Dale Dennis Formally Double-D

    Posts: 527
    Arlington, WA
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    Paul, you probably just answered the question as to why the WDFW will not OK the use of Grass Carp, sometimes its better not introduce another potential problem. As for the success of Grass carp getting rid of the weeds history and studies indicate that its a very fine line between success and failure and we surely can't afford failure.
  15. FLUFISKE37 New Member

    Posts: 45
    seattle,wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    hello, everyone carpin' don't require licence to fish for 'em due being "trash fish" according to the fish and game. But they are sure fun on a flyrod. I recommend 6 to 8 wt for carp depending on the size of fish u are going to catch.
  16. MrP Member

    Posts: 498
    Bothell, WA
    Ratings: +18 / 0
    Common Carp and Mirror Carp do not require a license. They are classified as food fish. It is not legal to fish for Grass Carp in WA.
  17. Paul Huffman Lagging economic indicator

    Posts: 1,402
    Yakima, WA.
    Ratings: +114 / 0
    True, but that's not a test case I want to be involved in. I think if you claimed that you were fishing a lake without a license and before opening day to catch and release carp, any judge would be convinced you were either lying or crazy.
  18. MrP Member

    Posts: 498
    Bothell, WA
    Ratings: +18 / 0
    In no way was I suggesting anyone become a test case. I purchase a license for all of my fishing no matter where I am and when I have any question I always error on the side of caution. I was answering this post.
    I felt I was saying gently that Carp are not "trash fish" and I was also gently pointing out that it is not legal to fish for Grass Carp.

    I find it peculiar that you are cautioning me about not being a test case in court when I have no intention of testing the law. I also find it peculiar that in the same thread you are already planning what you intend to say when you are in court having caught a fish that the regulations clearly say is illegal to fish for.

    Let's all buy fishing licenses to chase any fish in WA. Technically, we don't need licenses to fish for "food fish" among which are Common Carp and Mirror Carp. Let's buy the license anyway. Let's not fish for Grass Carp since at this point it is illegal.