Harvest of Grass Carp Now Legal in Lake Austin

AUSTIN — Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has revoked the Triploid Grass Carp Permit for Lake Austin effective Sept. 1. Any angler who catches a grass carp in Lake Austin may now legally retain the fish, provided it has been gutted or has had the head removed. There is no length limit or bag limit for this species. The decision to revoke the permit was made jointly with the City of Austin, Lower Colorado River Authority, Friends of Lake Austin, Texas Tournament Zone, and Austin Carp Anglers.

Sterile triploid grass carp (white amur) are often used as a biological control for the invasive plant, hydrilla. They were stocked in Lake Austin for this purpose from 2003 through 2013. Hydrilla is now under control, and other aquatic plants in the lake have been overgrazed by the plant-eating fish. Reducing grass carp numbers will allow aquatic plants to grow and provide habitat for fish and wildlife. If and when hydrilla once again shows up in Lake Austin, TPWD will work with the controlling authorities and stakeholders to issue a new permit for triploid grass carp in an effort to maintain an ecological balance.