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Fish FISH DIVISION
Regulating harvest, protection, and enhancement of fish populations
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Private Fish Ponds - Southeast District

Malheur, Owyhee, Malheur Lake, Alvord, Coyote Lake, and Quinn River Basins

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 by domestic water supply and have no outlet into state waters.

Water Rights – ODFW will not approve transport permits to stock fish in ponds that are not properly permitted by the Oregon Water Resources Department.  The permitting process needs to be started, not necessarily completed, prior to applying for a fish transport permit.

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.

Malheur Basin

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 due to possible negative effects on bull trout. Many warmwater species are not allowed to be stocked due to their negative impact 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.

More information on grass carp

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 541-573-6582.

Fish Stocking Guide- Malheur Basin

Type of Fish

Allowed

Restrictions

Bass, largemouth and smallmouth

In approved areas only.

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 above Beulah Reservoir or Malheur Reservoir.
Consideration of introductions in Malheur County (primarily Ontario area) will also include possible impacts to Columbia Spotted Frog.

Bluegill or Pumpkinseed

In approved areas only.

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 above Beulah or Malheur Reservoirs.
Consideration of introductions in Malheur County (primarily Ontario area) will also include possible impacts to Columbia Spotted Frog.

Brook Trout

Not allowed anywhere in the basin.

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

Brown Trout

Not allowed anywhere in the basin.

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

Bullhead catfish

No introductions of brown bullhead allowed.

No introductions of Bullhead allowed.

Channel catfish

Allowed from the mouth of the Malheur River upstream to Warm Springs Reservoir, and downstream of Namorf Dam at river mile 70.

All introductions will be evaluated on an individual basis in the entire basin. Ponds must be properly screened and not in a floodplain.
Consideration of introductions in Malheur County (primarily Ontario area) will also include possible impacts to Columbia Spotted Frog.

Crappie, White and Black

In approved areas only.

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 into the Alvord or Catlow basins.
No introductions above Beulah or Malheur Reservoirs.
Consideration of introductions in Malheur County (primarily Ontario area) will also include possible impacts on Columbia Spotted Frog.

Mosquitofish ("Gambusia")

In approved areas only.

No introductions in water bodies with any connection to flowing water, regardless of screen specifications.
No introductions into the Alvord or Catlow basins.
No introductions above Beulah or Malheur Reservoirs.
Consideration of introductions in Malheur County (primarily Ontario area) will also include possible impacts on Columbia Spotted Frog.

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 only in ponds located in areas where there is any possibility of the fish escaping or in ponds located in floodplain areas.
No introductions above Beulah or Malheur Reservoirs due to possible impacts on native species of trout.
Consideration of introductions in Malheur County (primarily Ontario area) will also include possible impacts on Columbia Spotted Frog.

Sturgeon

No sturgeon introductions allowed in the basin.

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

Owyhee Basin

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, Brook trout, Brown trout, Alligator gar, Pike, and Muskellunge (OAR 635-056-0050 and 635-006-0230). Many warmwater species are not allowed to be stocked due to their negative impact on native species.

A list of prohibited species

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

More information on grass carp

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 541-573-6582.

Fish Stocking Guide- Owyhee Basin, Malheur Lake, Alvord, Coyote Lake, and Quinn River basins

Type of Fish

Allowed

Restrictions

Bass, largemouth and smallmouth

In approved areas only.

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

Bluegill or Pumpkinseed

In approved areas only.

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

Brook Trout

Not allowed anywhere in the basin.

No brook trout stocking allowed.

Brown Trout

Not allowed anywhere in the basin.

No brown trout stocking allowed.

Bullhead catfish

No introductions of brown bullhead allowed.

No introductions of bullhead allowed.

Channel catfish

In approved areas only.

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

Crappie, White and Black

In approved areas only.

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

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 only in ponds located in areas where there is any possibility of the fish escaping or in ponds located in floodplain areas.

Sturgeon

Not allowed anywhere in the basin.

Stocking sturgeon in the Owyhee Basin is not allowed to protect the genetic integrity.

 

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