The Washington County attorney's office has filed misdemeanor charges against a southern Utah golf course that is accused of importing grass-eating carp outlawed as a threat to other fish.

The complaint, filed in 5th Circuit Court, accuses the South Gate Golf Course of obtaining the illegal grass carp from an Arkansas firm, then releasing them in their Utah ponds without permission from the state Division of Wildlife Resources."They are death on habitat and suck or eat anything green. And they ruin fisheries where any other fish could live," said division conservation officer Gary McKell.

McKell said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents confiscated three grass carp, weighing between 8 and 10 pounds each, from the golf course.

The Utah seizure came in the wake of a search of the "Sea-Ranch," Sheridan, Ark., which allegedly turned up records showing South Gate had purchased fish from the distributor.

The Arkansas company had advertised in golf magazines, promoting grass carp as a way to reduce grass growth in golf course ponds.

McKell said the grass carp, native to China, can grow to 100 pounds, and some are known to have reached 400 pounds.

South Gate officials were ordered to appear in court June 7 on the misdemeanor complaint.