The Benefits of Triploid Grass Carp
There are many different types of submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV), such as, spikerush, naiad, pondweed, etc… All of these types of vegetation grow under the water but are rooted into the soil. Also, many types of SAV have a waxy cuticle on the outside of their skin, making it harder to absorb herbicides. Therefore, straight herbicide treatments have to be more aggressive and many times irrigation restrictions or beneficial wetland plant establishments prevent this type of treatment. This is where grass carp come in to play!
Triploid grass carp are a sterile form of carp approved by the state to be stocked in bodies of water specifically to control invasive vegetation. Out of all the management strategies available, grass carp are the number one best form of SAV management. The grass carp actually consume the rooted vegetation as part of their diet and they can consume 2 to 3 times their weight per day of vegetation.
While these fish are certainty a great management tool, in some instances a herbicide treatment may be required prior to stocking if the SAV is quite extensive. Also, keep in mind that grass carp can be detrimental to newly established wetland plants. However, I’ve found that after a year of growth beneficial wetland plants will not be harmed by the carp. The state recommends stocking at a rate of 15 fish per acre and it is also important to stock an additional 20% each year to have different age classes of fish and account for avian predation.
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