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Fish FISH DIVISION
Regulating harvest, protection, and enhancement of fish populations
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Private Fish Ponds - Upper Willamette Subbasin

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 or brown trout stocking are not allowed in Oregon under Oregon Revised Rule 635-007-0600(5)(a). Many warmwater species are not allowed to be stocked due to their negative impact on Oregon Chub, which are an endangered species.

A map of Oregon Chub distribution (pdf)
 
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)

  “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 541-726-3515.

Fish Stocking Guide- Upper Willamette Subbasin

Type of Fish

Allowed

Restrictions

Bass, largemouth and smallmouth

In approved areas only.

No stocking allowed above Leaburg Dam in the McKenzie Drainage.

No stocking allowed of smallmouth bass above the confluence of the Willamette or Mckenzie Rivers.

No introductions where there is risk of escape into known Oregon chub sites.

Bluegill or Pumpkinseed

In approved areas only.

No introductions above Leaburg Dam in the McKenzie Drainage.

No introductions where there is risk of escape into known Oregon chub sites.

Brook Trout

No stocking allowed anywhere in the basin.

No brook trout stocking allowed in any area of the Upper Willamette subbasin.

Brown Trout

No stocking allowed anywhere in the basin.

No brown trout stocking allowed in any area of the Upper Willamette subbasin.

Bullhead catfish

In approved areas only.

No stocking allowed above Leaburg Dam in the McKenzie Drainage.

No stocking allowed where there is risk of escape into known Oregon chub sites.

Channel catfish

In approved areas only.

No stocking allowed above Leaburg Dam in the McKenzie Drainage.

No stocking allowed of smallmouth bass or channel catfish above the confluence of the Willamette or Mckenzie Rivers.

No stocking allowed where there is risk of escape into known Oregon chub sites.

Crappie, White and Black

In approved areas only.

All stocking requests will be evaluated on a case by case basis in the entire basin. Ponds must be properly screened and not in a floodplain.

Mosquitofish (“Gambusia”)

In approved areas only.

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

No stocking allowed where there is risk of escape into known Oregon chub sites.

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.

No trout other than triploid trout are allowed in bull trout areas.

Sturgeon

In approved areas only.

White sturgeon are native to this basin and therefore will be allowed on an individual basis to ensure that ponds provide adequate confinement and are suitable for stocking of sturgeon.

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