MDC proposes regulation changes for more uses of grass carp and common carp

JOE JEREK, Missouri Department
Conservation
MDC is proposing regulations that would expand personal and commercial use of common carp (shown) and grass carp.

The Missouri Conservation Commission gave initial approval at its Jan. 22 open meeting to proposed regulation changes from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) that would add to personal and commercial uses of grass carp and common carp.

The new regulations follow public requests to catch and use common and grass carp as live bait. A related regulation on the use of common carp as live bait became effective in August of last year. Since then, MDC staff have received comments from anglers, bait dealers, the Missouri Aquaculture Association, and others on the regulation change.

The resulting additional proposed regulations would allow for both common carp and grass carp to be used for live bait once the regulations become effective Aug. 30 of this year. The proposed regulations would also allow for the limited commercial capture and sale of common and grass carp to commercial establishments by contractors participating in an MDC-contracted invasive fish removal project.

Grass carp and common carp are currently listed as invasive fish species in Missouri, along with bighead, black, and silver carp. These invasive species pose threats to Missouri aquatic ecosystems by outcompeting native species and damaging water quality and habitat.

The proposed regulation changes would not apply to bighead and silver carp, which would remain on the Missouri invasive species list, or to black carp, which would remain on the Missouri prohibited species list.

The proposed regulations would:

Remove common carp and grass carp from the definition of invasive fish.

Reestablish the sport seasons, methods, and limits for taking common carp and grass carp and allow their use as live bait.

Reestablish the commercial fishing seasons, methods, and limits for taking common carp and grass carp in certain streams and establish restrictions on the use of commercial fishing gear used to catch them.

Authorize the sale of common carp and grass carp to commercial establishments by contractors participating in an MDC-contracted invasive fish removal project.

MDC invites public comment on the regulation changes March 2-31 online at mdc.mo.gov/about-regulations/wildlife-code-missouri/proposed-regulation-changes and by mail to: Regulations Committee Chairman, Department of Conservation, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180.

MDC will then review all comments received and present a final proposal for a final vote by the Commission during its May 21 public meeting. If approved, the regulation change will become effective Aug. 30.

Learn more about carp in Missouri from MDC’s online Field Guide:

Common carp at nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/common-carp

Crass carp at nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/grass-carp

Bighead carp at nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/bighead-carp

Silver carp at nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/silver-carp

Black carp at nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/black-carp