Last updated 10/9/2008

Colorado - North Central Region - Adjacent States

Aquaculture Contacts, Transport Regulations, and Approved Aquatic Species

! Important Notice !
Aquaculturists transporting or selling aquatic animals are responsible for following current regulations required by each state in which the activity occurs (selling or transporting) and are advised to contact state regulatory agencies responsible for permitting these activities.

State Aquaculture Regulatory Authorities   

Colorado Department of Natural Resources:
Kathy Konishi
Special Licensing Unit Manager
Colorado Division of Wildlife

Ph: 303-291-7143

State Fish Health Authorities / Laboratories
Pete Walker 
Program Manager and Aquatic Animal Health Lab Pathologist
Colorado Division of Wildlife
P.O. Box 128, Brush, CO 80723-0128,
Ph: 970-842-6312
Fax: 970-842-2849,

Aquaculture Industry Contacts

Colorado Aquaculture Association

Colorado Department of Agriculture:
Scott Leach
Colorado Department of Agriculture,
Animal Industry Division
700 Kipling St., Suite 4000,
Lakewood, CO 80215-8000

(303) 239-4295

Colorado Live Fish Importation Summary

In Colorado, live fish importation rules and regulations are promulgated through the Colorado Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.  Principle import regulations can be found in Chapter 0 of Colorado Wildlife Commission Regulations, articles #011 and #014:




A. Except as provided in these regulations or authorized by the Division of Wildlife or under Title 33 or Title 35 C.R.S., it shall be unlawful for any person to import any live native or nonnative aquatic wildlife into Colorado.

B. A person must obtain an Importation License from the Division prior to importing any live aquatic wildlife into Colorado.

C. Application for an Importation License shall be made on the form provided by the Division.  Applications are available online at:

D. Properly completed forms and the license fee must be submitted to the Division at least seven (7) working days prior to the proposed importation date.

E. Upon receipt of the Importation License, a person may import only those species and only from the facility listed on the license. Additional species may be added to the license upon written application to the Division at least seven (7) working days prior to the proposed importation date.

F. The Division may inspect any shipment of live fish or viable gametes imported into Colorado prior to release into waters of the state or private holding facilities.

G. Receipt of all wildlife imported must be reported to the Division as specified on the Importation License.

H. All importations of fish must comply with state fish health management regulations. A copy of a facility’s health certification, if applicable, must accompany each shipment of live aquatic wildlife. I. Release of aquatic wildlife must comply with all applicable regulations including but not limited to the restrictions found in #012, # 013 and 014 of these regulations.





A. Inspection and Certification for Prohibited and Regulated Fish Diseases

1. Annual fish health inspections and certifications are required for all in-state fish production or holding facilities, which sell or stock live fish, and out of state facilities importing live fish into Colorado. A fish health certification will terminate one year from the effective date of certification or upon discovery of a prohibited or regulated disease, whichever occurs first. However, provided the facility requests its annual fish health inspection within 12 months of the effective date of its last certification, its fish health certification shall be valid for fifteen months or whenever its subsequent inspection report is available, whichever occurs first. In the absence of a timely written request for an annual fish health inspection the fish health certification shall terminate 12 months from the effective date of its last certification. A copy of such certification must accompany each fish shipment within or into Colorado.


2. All such facilities shall be annually inspected by a qualified fish health pathologist for both prohibited and regulated diseases as applicable.

a. Prohibited diseases

1. All salmonid facilities must be certified to be free of the following diseases: Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus (IHNV) Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHSV) Oncorhynchus masou Virus (OMV)

2. All facilities with non-salmonid fishes must be certified free of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHSV).

3. Inspection and Certification for Other Diseases of Concern: susceptible or potentially susceptible species from all importing facilities within the applicable endemic disease areas, including both salmonid and nonsalmonid fish production or holding facilities, must also be annually certified by a qualified fish health pathologist to be free of the following diseases:

Ceratomyxa shasta (Ceratomyxosis)

Epizootic Epitheliotropic Disease (EEV)

Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus (ISAV)

Piscirickettsia salmonis Tetracapsula bryosalmo (Proliferative Kidney Disease – PKD) Spring Viremia of Carp Virus (SVCV)


b. Regulated diseases – all salmonid facilities must be certified for the presence or absence of the following diseases:

Myxobolus cerebralis (Whirling Disease – WD)

Renibacterium salmoninarum (Bacterial Kidney Disease - BKD)

Aeromonas salmonicida (Furunculosis)

Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis Virus (IPNV)


3. Testing procedures.

a. Except for Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHSV) and as otherwise provided in these regulations, all inspections and testing procedures must be conducted as set forth in the Blue Book: USFWS and AFS-FHS (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and American Fisheries Society-Fish Health Section). 2005. Standard procedures for aquatic animal health inspections.


b. Testing for Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHSV) shall be conducted by the protocols and procedures of:


 1. The Blue Book: USFWS and AFS-FHS  - or -

2. The Manual of diagnostics for aquatic animals. 2006. of the OIE - World Organisation for Animal Health.


Chapter 0 of Colorado Wildlife Commission Regulations can be viewed in its entirety at:


Other States Information:

North Central Region States:     Adjacent States:
Illinois Arkansas
Indiana Colorado
Iowa Kentucky
Kansas Montana
Michigan Oklahoma
Minnesota Pennsylvania
Missouri Tennessee
Nebraska West Virginia
North Dakota Wyoming
South Dakota


Return to State Importation Regulations page