Written by Aaron Cushing, Wildlife and Fisheries Biologist, Environmental Scientist
As professionals in the lake and pond management industry, we view ourselves as the caretakers of our freshwater resources. As such, we continually seek ways to improve and create Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs that preserve those valuable ecosystems. If an improvement can be made to an IPM that is beneficial to the environment and can possibly save pond owners money, we view it as a win-win for all. One such improvement is the use of Grass Carp to help manage nuisance vegetation in lakes and ponds.
A voracious plant-eating fish native to Asia, Grass Carp were originally imported to the United States in the early 1960s to serve as a “biological control” option for nuisance aquatic vegetation. Unfortunately, as a non-native species without natural predators, they also had the ability to reproduce quickly, posing a substantial risk to the environment. In the 1980s, researchers developed a process to create a sterile triploid fish that cannot reproduce and establish undesired populations. Currently, commercial hatcheries propagate Triploid Grass Carp for stocking in many states across the country.