If area landowners are facing a weed problem in their ponds, grass carp may be the answer.
The fish provide an excellent biological control for many rooted aquatic nuisance plants in local ponds. To stock grass carp in a pond in the state of New York landowners must fill out a free application for a permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation. Landowners can obtain a permit application from the DEC website www.dec.ny.gov.
Landowners will need to know the size of their pond in acres, depths, fish species, water sources, and identify the plant species in the pond. When residents have completed the application it must be returned to the DEC for processing. The DEC will determine the maximum number of grass carp that can be stocked into a pond from the information provided on the application form. The DEC will include a list of grass carp providers when a permit is issued.
The Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation District is on the list of carp providers. Please contact the district for ordering information at 664-2352, ext. 3. The fish are usually available from Soil & Water in mid-May, and again in June or July for stocking into ponds. It is best to introduce grass carp into ponds in the spring when the water is still cool. The cool water temperatures provide good oxygen, and offer the fish a less stressful environment during transport.