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Private Fish Ponds - Upper Rogue District

Rogue 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. Private stocking of 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 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 western 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.

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, Walleye, and Muskellunge (OAR 635-056-0050 and 635-006-0230). Brook trout or brown trout stocking are not allowed in Oregon under Oregon Administrative Rule 635-007-0600(5)(a).

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

"Tilapia" (Oreochrimos spp.) require a special stocking permit as they are a controlled group of fishes.  Hybrids including "blue tilapia" are prohibited in Oregon.

More information on tilapia (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. Many warmwater species are not allowed to be stocked due to their negative impact on native species. For more information, you may call the local ODFW biologist at 541-826-8774 ext 234.

Fish Stocking Guide-Rogue Basin

Type of Fish



Bass, largemouth and smallmouth

Largemouth bass in approved areas only.
No stocking of smallmouth bass allowed in the basin.

Illegal releases of smallmouth bass in the Rogue District have negatively impacted existing trout and largemouth bass fisheries.

Bluegill or Pumpkinseed

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.

Brook Trout

Not allowed anywhere in the basin.

No brook trout stocking allowed in any area of the Rogue basin.

Brown Trout

Not allowed anywhere in the basin.

No brown trout stocking allowed in any area of the Rogue basin.

Bullhead catfish

In approved areas only.

All stocking requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in the entire basin. No stocking allowed in ponds in floodplains and ponds with unscreened outlets.

Channel catfish

No stocking allowed anywhere in the basin.

No 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 in approved areas only.

No stocking of white crappie allowed in the basin as they are not present currently.

Mosquitofish ("Gambusia")

In approved areas only.

No stocking allowed 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.


No stocking allowed anywhere in the basin.

White sturgeon and green sturgeon are native to the Rogue basin. Potential negative impacts on both native populations already apparent in the basin.


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