Symposium Summary: Effects of Diploid Grass Carp and State Grass Carp Stocking Policies on Aquatic Ecosystems

Sponsor: Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association

State policies regarding the use of Grass Carp are inconsistent and at times conflicting between neighboring states. Most states prohibit all Grass Carp or restrict their use to certified triploids (i.e., sterile) only; however, seven states in the Mississippi River Basin continue to allow stocking of diploid (i.e., fertile) Grass Carp. The Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association (MICRA) recently proposed a set of eight recommendations to establish a consistent national policy strategy for Grass Carp in the United States. MICRA convened the symposium to inform state agency discussions and consideration of the recommended consistent national policy strategy. The symposium began with oral presentations that provided an overview of Grass Carp distribution and status of reproducing populations in the United States, a summary of the measured ecological impacts, and an assessment of predicted ecological risks. Several state agencies and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada provided perspectives on their respective agency’s management strategies for Grass Carp and their efforts to prevent the introduction or establishment of the species. Representatives from the aquaculture industry participating in the symposium expressed minimal concern and overall support for the recommended national policy strategy. The symposium concluded with a brief discussion with the panel of symposium speakers. Read the abstracts here.

—Greg Conover, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service