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Fish FISH DIVISION
Regulating harvest, protection, and enhancement of fish populations
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Private Fish Ponds - Deschutes Basin

Fish stocking in Oregon is carefully regulated by ODFW to ensure that the stocking of fish into private ponds does not affect fish populations in or below the pond site. Stocking fish in any streams or public lakes is prohibited statewide. Therefore, a Fish Transportation permit is needed in order to (a) transport live fish into, within or out of this state, (b) hold any live fish in the waters of this state, or (c) release or attempt to release any live fish into the waters of this state. A separate Fish Transportation Permit is needed for each release site but not for each delivery of fish made to a site during the authorized permit period, providing the total number of fish delivered does not exceed the number authorized to be transported under the permit. It is important to note that the Fish Transportation rules do not apply to aquaria fish intended for aquaria use. Aquaria can vary in size but are generally small home garden ponds which are self-contained and are generally filled domestic water supply and have no outlet into state waters.

The type of fish that you can stock in your pond is determined by a local ODFW fisheries biologist and Fish Division Managers. ODFW fish stocking guidelines for private ponds are intended to provide private pond owners a clear list of fish species approved for their local areas and what pond conditions must be in place for stocking to occur. Biologists will also provide general advice on which fish species are most likely to thrive in your pond without harming native fish communities. As Oregon has many native fish species and some are listed as endangered species or sensitive species, some stocking may not be allowed in areas where stocking of non native fish may pose a risk to native species. Generally speaking, stocking of rainbow trout is allowed statewide in ponds with adequate screens or ponds with no outlets. Triploid trout are preferred in areas where ponds are located in a floodplain and in general are preferred for private pond stocking. New ponds that do not have a record of being stocked will need to be inspected by ODFW staff before a transport permit is approved. If other native species such as spotted frog and pond turtles are present, fish stocking may not be allowed; however, ODFW is interested in working cooperatively with landowners who may have these species in their ponds.

Most commonly known game fish are allowed to be stocked in private ponds; however, there are some exceptions. Brook trout, Mosquitofish (Gambusia), white sturgeon, brown trout, and all types of catfish are not allowed in Oregon under Oregon Revised Rule 635-007-0600(5)(a). Many other warmwater species are not allowed to be stocked due to their negative impact and predation on native species. Many other species of fish common to the Midwest and Eastern part of the United States are prohibited in Oregon. Some of these species include: Carp (Silver, Snakehead, Bighead, etc.), Bowfin, Alligator gar, Pike, and Muskellunge (OAR 635-056-0050 and 635-006-0230).

A list of prohibited species

 “Grass carp” (Cteneropharyngodon idella) require a special stocking permit as they are a controlled species. For more information on grass carp, http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/private_ponds/index.asp

The table below lists species of fish currently propagated by licensed private fish producers in Oregon that are available for stocking into private ponds if ponds meet stocking guidelines in the basin. For more information, you may call the local ODFW biologist at 541-388-6363.

Fish Stocking Guide-Deschutes Basin

Type of Fish

Allowed

Restrictions

Bass, largemouth and smallmouth

In approved areas only.

Stocking requests above Prineville Reservoir are restricted due to impacts on native species.

Bluegill or Pumpkinseed

In approved areas only.

No stocking allowed above Ochoco Dam.

Stocking requests above Prineville Reservoir are restricted due to native species concerns and are approved on an individual basis.

No pumpkinseed stocking allowed in Deschutes, Crook or Jefferson counties.

Brook Trout

Not allowed anywhere in the basin.

No stocking due to impacts on native species of trout.

Brown Trout

Not allowed anywhere in the basin.

No stocking due to impacts on native species of trout.

Bullhead catfish

No stocking allowed.

No stocking of bullhead catfish allowed in the basin as they are non-native; can easily establish in flowing waters; are highly predatory; and can cause major detrimental impacts on native fish, especially juvenile salmonids.

Channel catfish

No stocking allowed.

No stocking of channel catfish allowed in the basin as they are non-native; can easily establish in flowing waters; are highly predatory; and can cause major detrimental impacts on native fish, especially juvenile salmonids.

Crappie, White and Black

Black crappie stocking allowed on a case by case basis.

No stocking of white crappie allowed in the entire basin.

Stocking of black crappie above Prineville Reservoir are restricted due to impacts on native species.

Mosquitofish (“Gambusia”)

No stocking allowed.

No stocking allowed due to impacts on native species and that Gambusia are not present currently in many basins.

Rainbow Trout

(includes triploids, Kamloops, Golden, Donaldson Trout)

Rainbow trout may be stocked in approved ponds with no outlets or ponds with adequate screening.

Triploid trout are preferred in ponds located in areas where there is any possibility of the fish escaping or in ponds located in floodplain areas.

Stocking above Prineville Reservoir are restricted due to impacts on native trout species.

Sturgeon

No sturgeon stocking allowed in the basin.

White sturgeon are not native to the basin and may have negative interactions with other native species already present.

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