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Fish FISH DIVISION
Regulating harvest, protection, and enhancement of fish populations
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Private Fish Ponds - Grand Ronde 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 introductions 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 or brown trout stocking is not allowed in Oregon due to their possible negative effects on bull trout. Bull trout and brook trout can interbreed and brook trout can out compete native bull trout.

More information on bull trout in the Grande Ronde basin (pdf)

More information on bull trout in the Wallowa basin (pdf)

“Grass carp” (Cteneropharyngodon idella) require a special stocking permit as they are a controlled species.

More information on grass carp

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 (pdf)

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 541-962-1829.

Fish Stocking Guide- Grande Ronde Basin

Type of Fish

Allowed

Restrictions

Bass, largemouth and smallmouth

In approved areas only.

No stocking allowed in the Wallowa basin.

All introductions will be evaluated on an individual basis in the entire basin. Ponds must be properly screened and not in a floodplain.

No introductions allowed in the Wallowa basin to maintain current limited distribution of non- native species.

Bluegill or Pumpkinseed

In approved areas only.

No stocking allowed in the Wallowa basin.

All introductions will be evaluated on an individual basis in the entire basin. Ponds must be properly screened and not in a floodplain.

No introductions allowed in the Wallowa basin to maintain current limited distribution of non- native species.

Brook Trout

No introductions of brook trout allowed anywhere in the basin.

No brook trout stocking allowed due to concerns with bull trout.

Brown Trout

No introductions of brown trout allowed anywhere in the basin.

No brown trout stocking allowed as they are not present currently and could have potential negative effects on native bull trout.

Bullhead catfish

No introductions of brown bullhead allowed anywhere in the basin.

Bullhead catfish continually occur in places they are not intended or permitted for and cause significant fishery management issues in the basin.

Channel catfish

No introductions allowed anywhere in the basin.

Channel catfish are long lived, highly predatory fish that can significantly affect native trout populations.

Crappie, White and Black

In approved areas only.

No stocking allowed in the Wallowa basin.

All introductions will be evaluated on an individual basis in the entire basin. Ponds must be properly screened and not in a floodplain.

No introductions allowed in the Wallowa basin to maintain current limited distribution of non- native species.

Mosquitofish (“Gambusia”)

In approved areas only.

No introductions in water bodies with any connection to flowing water, regardless of screen specifications.

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.

Sturgeon

No sturgeon introductions allowed in the basin.

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

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