Michigan Import Regulations

Page

Last update: June 5th, 2018

! 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 

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development:

Dr. Stephen Hussey
Aquaculture Program Manager
Animal Industry Division
Michigan Dept. of Agriculture and Rural Development
P.O. Box 30017
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 284-5685
husseys@michigan.gov

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Ed Eisch
Michigan DNR - Fisheries
Fish Production Program Manager
Traverse City Customer Service Center
2122 South M-37
Traverse City, MI 49685
(231) 922-6055 (office)
(231) 499-4118 (cell)
eische@michigan.gov

Competent Fish Health Professional:
Gary Whelan
MDNR Fisheries Division
P.O. Box 30466
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 373-6948
whelang@michigan.gov

State Fish Health Authorities / Laboratories

Dr. Thomas Loch
Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory
Michigan State University
S-112 Plant Biology Bldg, East Lansing, MI  48824
ph: 517-432-8258; fax: 517-432-8260
healthyfish@cvm.msu.edu

Aquaculture / Baitfish Industry Contacts

Michigan Aquaculture Association
http://michiganaquaculture.org

Michigan Bait Dealers Association
Richard Weidenhammer
(231) 548-5323
michbait@racc2000.com

Michigan Department of Agriculture Oversight:

State veterinary authority

State of Michigan veterinary authority is granted to the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA), Animal Industry Division. Health certifications accepted by MDARD must be facilitated through USDA Accredited Veterinarians or American Fisheries Society (AFS)-certified Aquatic Animal Health Inspectors, and disease testing submitted to USDA approved laboratories.

MI aquaculture farm registration

All commercial aquaculture facilities residing in MI must be registered with MDARD as promulgated through Michigan Aquaculture Development Act 199 of 1996.  A list of approved species for aquaculture and importation requirements for Michigan is found within this act. Additional information can be found on the MDARD Aquaculture Facility Licensing website.

MI fish health testing for aquaculture

MDNR assists MI aquaculture facilities in development of fish health certification plans for stocking public waters.  Assistance may include establishing farm sampling programs, identification of fish health officials and laboratories for fish health testing.  Actual permits for public water stocking are obtained thru MDNR (see below). 

Importation and movement of aquatic animals for Aquaculture

Fish importation requirements differ based on the species imported and purpose of importation. (e.g. production vs baitfish or stocking of public waters.) Fish importation for aquaculture is summarized on MDARD's Aquaculture Importation Website, and as follows:

Any movement, importing, or exporting of aquaculture species shall be in compliance with the Animal Industry Act, 1988 PA 466, MCL 287.729a:

(1)  Aquaculture imported into the State shall be accompanied by 1 of the following issued by an accredited veterinarian or an AFS-certified Fish Health Official:

              (a)  Official interstate health certificate.

              (b)  Official interstate certificate of veterinary inspection.

              (c)  Fish disease inspection report.

(2)  A person shall not import aquaculture from a hatchery or other facility with a record of an emergency fish disease within the past 2 years. The current list of emergency diseases includes:  VHS, IHN, Ceratomyxosis shasta, ISA, White Sturgeon herpesvirus, White Sturgeon iridovirus, and BKD. 

(3)  A person shall not import aquaculture exhibiting clinical signs of disease.

(4) Importation of aquaculture species into Michigan, other than Tilapia, Lake Sturgeon, or common shiners must show that the shipment is free of VHS.

Important:   For importation of baitfish, live salmonid species and/or eggs, or of any live aquatic animal imports ultimately intended for stocking in public waters, also see MDNR requirements below as they are required to meet both MDARD and MDNR requirements.  

Prior-entry permit for aquaculture importation

As of 2010, a Prior-Entry Import Permit is required from MDARD and must be obtained prior to each shipment of live aquatic animals into the state of Michigan, to licensed aquaculture facilities or for stocking of public waters. See MDARD's  Aquaculture Importation Website

Michigan Department of Natural Resources Oversight

State natural resource authority

Protection of the State’s natural resources is allocated to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) in the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) act 451 of 1994.

Baitfish, game fish and hunting licensing

Anyone over the age of 17 taking aquatic species; hunting, trapping, or possessing wild animal requires a license administrated by the MDNR.

Taking of baitfish from state waters for commercial use, or importation of baitfish for commercial use requires a baitfish license administrated by the MDNR per act MCL 324.48728 – 324.48731.

For licensing and cost information see MCL 324.48732.

Permits and exceptions are listed in MCL 324.48735:

Exceptions may be obtained with permit only (issued by MDNR) for the following activities:

                Fish culture
                Scientific investigation
                Stocking and possession of live fish in ponds, pools and aquariums
                Importation of live game fish and/or eggs   

Baitfish wholesale, retail and sales permitting (VHS) /  Baitfish use (VHS)

All live fish sales under the jurisdiction of MDNR must now comply with the Fish Disease Control Order (FO245.16)

Included in FO245 are restrictions pertaining to all of the following:
            Baitfish exclusion zones
            State-wide provisions
            Commercial bait imports
            Commercial bait harvests
            Fish Health requirements
            Certification status of a facility

Michigan Public Water Stocking

Stocking live fish in public waters falls under MCL 324.48735: “A person shall not plant any spawn, fry, or fish of any kind in any of the public waters of this state or any other waters under the jurisdiction of this state without first obtaining a permit from the department that states the species, number, and approximate size or age of the spawn, fry, or fish to be planted and the name and location of the waters where the spawn, fry, or fish shall be planted.”             

State of Michigan Public Water Stocking Permits are available online.

Fish health certifications are required for all live salmonid species and/or eggs, baitfish and gamefish destined for public water stockings.  Fish health testing should follow the guidance in the “MI fish health testing for aquaculture, importation and stocking” section below.

MI prohibitive species

Prohibited and restricted species are defined in the Michigan Natural Resources and

Environmental Protection Act 451 of 1994, Section 324.4130 .  Michigan Prohibited Species list can be found here: https://www.michigan.gov/invasives/0,5664,7-324-68002_74282---,00.html

 

MI fish health testing for aquaculture imported and ultimately destined for stocking of Michigan Public Waters

MDNR assists MI aquaculture facilities in development of fish health certification plans for stocking public waters.  Assistance may include establishing farm sampling programs, identification of fish health officials and laboratories for fish health testing.  Actual permits for public water stocking are obtained thru MDNR (see below)

Fish Health Testing Requirements for Importation into Michigan, for Stocking of Fish into Public Waters of Michigan and Baitfish Certification:

Sampling and Testing

  • Sample collection must be conducted by either: 1) a veterinarian who is licensed and USDA certified; 2) a MI DNR Fisheries Division employee approved by the MI DNR Competent Fish Health Authority or designate; 3)  a state, federal or tribal fisheries agency employee approved by the MI DNR Competent Fish Health Authority or designate; 4) an AFS-FHS Certified Fish Health Inspector or Fish Pathologist; or 5) any other qualified individual acceptable upon consultation with the MI DNR Competent Fish Health Authority or designate.
  • Samples should be shipped live whenever possible. Fresh on ice is acceptable if holding time is less than 24 hours from death until arrival to the laboratory for immediate processing.  Frozen samples should only be used in consultation with MI DNR Competent Fish Health Authority or designate. Arrange all submissions with the receiving lab prior to fish collection.
  • Sample processing laboratories should be selected in consultation with MI DNR Competent Fish Health Authority or designate prior to collecting samples.  The following laboratories are acceptable and do not need additional consultation:
    • Michigan State University – Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory
    • Kennebec River Biosciences
    • State of Ohio Department of Agriculture – Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory
    • Wisconsin Veterinary  Diagnostic Laboratory
    • Fish Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff
    • University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
    • Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory
    • Fish Vet Group
  • Minimum numbers of fish to be sampled are outlined in Table 1 except for minnow collection areas within the State of Michigan with continuing positive VHSv sample results where lot sample sizes will be 150 fish.  Affected entities in these areas will be notified of the need for the higher sample size.  At this time, the higher sample size will be required for waters in Saginaw Bay and the St. Clair River to Lake Erie corridor.  For other circumstances, please consult with MI DNR Competent Fish Health Authority or designate to determine what is needed for your situation.
  • The testing strategy for a farm-level certification will depend on the configuration of the facility and should be approved by DNR, prior to sampling.  Facilities that have been approved for farm level inspection in the past by MI DNR Fisheries Division can continue to do so using the annual testing listed in the tables below.  At minimum, three consecutive years of detailed fish health history will be needed in order for MI DNR Fisheries Division to accept farm-level certifications for facilities that wish to start using farm level inspections.
  • All fish health certifications are valid for one year from the date of the fish health inspection results as long as no additional fish are added to the inspected lots and adequate biosecurity measures are in place to ensure lot separation at the facility.  If new fish are added, new fish health inspections and certifications are required following the guidance in this document.

 

Table 1. Number of fish required for testing by source.

Source of Fish

Minimum Number to Test by Species (see details below)1

Minimum Number to Tested for Farm Level (see details below)

Aquaculture Facility with minimum 3 consecutive years health history demonstrating the absence of pathogens that are required for testing (Table 2)

60 fish per species for viruses and bacteria2 with a minimum of 120 fish per facility and 60 fish per species for parasites3

170, preferably with 60 fish from the  species to be imported or stocked in MI waters

Aquaculture Facility with unknown or incomplete health history over past 3 consecutive years.

150 fish per species for viruses and bacteria2 and 120 fish per species for parasites3

To Be Determined; consult with DNR fish health staff

Wild Fish Collections or Transfers - State of Michigan waters or out of state waters with a known fish health history

120 fish per species for viruses and bacteria2 and 60 fish per species for parasites3

N/A

Wild Fish from out-of-state waters with an unknown fish health history

150 fish per species for viruses and bacteria2 and 60 fish per species for parasites3

N/A

Baitfish from State of Michigan waters or out-of-state waters with a known fish health history, except as noted below

120 fish per species for viruses and bacteria2 and 60 fish per species for parasites3

N/A

Baitfish from out-of-state sources with unknown fish health histories

150 fish per species for viruses and bacteria2 and 60 fish per species for parasites3

N/A

1 See Table 2 and the Required Pathogen Testing Section for pathogens required by species.

2 Viruses include VHSv, IHNv, IPNv, LMBv, and/or CCv.  No bacterial testing is required at this time.

3 Parasites include Mcer and/or HSP.

Required Pathogen Testing

  • Pathogen testing outlined in Table 1 will be completed on all fish submitted; pooling of fish in pools of five fish is acceptable for all pathogens except for Heterosporis sp.  (i.e., a 120 fish sample for fathead minnows being imported into our state for baitfish will have 24 5-fish pools of samples for virus analysis, and 60 individual fish inspected for Heterosporis sp.).
  • Minnows harvested within the waters of the State of Michigan only need to be tested for Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia virus using the wild fish sample sizes in Table 1 except in known positive VHSv areas where the sample size will be 150 fish for virology.
  • Pathogen testing requirements by species are listed in Table 2 below, except for the following additional requirements not included in Table 2:
    • For all juvenile and adult salmonids originating west of the western borders of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas
      • Fish must also be tested for Proliferative Kidney Disease (PKD) using a minimum sample size of 120 fish per species.
    • For all juvenile and adult salmonids originating east of the eastern borders of New York
      • Fish must also be tested for all variants (e.g., HPR0 and HPR-deleted) of Infectious Salmon Anemia virus (ISAv) using a minimum sample size of 150 fish per species.
    • For salmonid eggs originating east of the eastern borders of New York
      • Broodstock fish also be tested free of all Infectious Salmon Anemia virus (ISAv) variants using a minimum sample size of 150 fish per species for three consecutive years.
    • For all minnows originating west of the Minnesota-Wisconsin stateline and the Mississippi River
      • Fish must also be tested free for Fathead Minnow Nidovirus (FHMNv) and Golden Shiner Reovirus (GOSv) using a minimum sample size of 120 fish for facilities with known fish health histories and 150 fish for facilities with unknown fish health histories.
  • Samples for parasitological analyses can be collected from the same fish examined for viruses and bacteria.
  • All testing that follows procedures outlined in the American Fisheries Society – Fish Health Section (AFS-FHS) Blue Book or OIE Manual of Diagnostic Tests will be accepted by MI DNR Fisheries Division.  Any other testing methodology will require consultation with MI DNR Fisheries Division Fish Health staff.
    • For Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia virus (VHSv) testing:
      • Isolation on cell culture followed by confirmation is accepted by the MI DNR Fisheries Division as the primary method of VHSv detection. At minimum, two cell lines should be used along with a positive control.  The preferred cell line is EPC, plus FHM or another second susceptible cell line (e.g., CHSE or BF-2) at 15̊C.  Other cell lines can be used following consultation with and approval by MI DNR Competent Fish Health Authority or designate.  If CPE is detected, confirmation using molecular or serological assays acceptable by the USFWS-AFS-FHS guidelines (Blue book) or the OIE Aquatic manual must be followed.  
      • Real-time reverse transcriptase (RT) PCR using the protocol originally developed by Jonstrup et al. (2013) and adopted by USDA APHIS NAHLN (Warg et al. 2014 a, b as provided at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25144112 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25144113) is also an acceptable method to the MI DNR Fisheries Division.  The real-time RT-PCR must use the approved primer sets used in the above references or another agreed upon primer set and must use appropriate controls.  If positive pools are found, the results must then be confirmed using cell culture following the guidance above.
  • Testing requirements for any species not listed in Table 2 must be done in consultation with DNR Fisheries Division Fish Health staff.

 

For your reference, the link to Fisheries Order 245.16, Fish Disease Control, is provided below.

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/FO_245.10_317517_7.pdf

 

 

Table 2. List of Fish Species and Pathogen Testing Requirements for Importation into Michigan, Stocking of Fish into Public Waters of Michigan, and Baitfish Certification

Species

Scientific Name

Species Code

Importation

Baitfish

Stocking

Pathogen Testing Required

VHSv

IHNv, IPNv, and Mcer

HSP

 LMBv

CCV

Atlantic Salmon

Salmo salar

ATS

X

 

X

X

X

 

   

Black Bullhead

Ameiurus melas

BLB

X

 

X

X

 

 

X

Black Crappie

Pomoxis nigromaculatus 

BCR

X

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

Bluegill

Lepomis macrochirus

BLG

X

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

Brook Trout

Salvelinus fontinalis

BKT

X

 

X

X

X

 

 

 

Brown Bullhead

Ameiurus nebulosus

BRB

X

 

X

X

 

 

 

X

Brown Trout

Salmo trutta

BNT

X

 

X

X

X

 

 

 

Channel Catfish

Ictalurus punctatus

CCF

X

 

X

X

 

 

 

X

Flathead Catfish

Pylodictis olivaris

FCF

X

 

X

X

 

 

 

X

Green Sunfish

Lepomis cyanellus

GSF

X

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

Hybrid Sunfish

Lepomis spp.

HSF

X

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

Lake Herring

Coregonus artedi

LHR

X

 

X

X

X

X

 

 

Lake Trout

Salvelinus namaycush

LKT

X

 

X

X

X

 

 

 

Lake Whitefish

Coregonus clupeaformis

LWF

X

 

X

X

X

 

 

 

Largemouth Bass

Micropterus salmoides

LMB

X

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

Muskellunge

Esox masquinongy

MUS

X

 

X

X

 

X

 

 

Northern Pike

Esox lucius

NOP

X

 

X

X

 

X

 

 

Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Lepomis gibbosus

PSF

X

 

X

X

 

X

X

 

Rainbow Trout (Steelhead)

Oncorhynchus mykiss

RBT

X

 

X

X

X

 

 

 

Redear Sunfish

Lepomis microlophus

RSF

X

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

Rock Bass

Ambloplites rupestris

RKB

X

 

X

X

 

X

X

 

Smallmouth Bass

Micropterus dolomieu

SMB

X

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

Walleye

Sander vitreus

WAE

X

 

X

X

 

X

 

 

Warmouth

Lepomis gulosus

WAR

X

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

White Bass

Morone chrysops

WHB

X

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

White Crappie

Pomoxis annularis

WCR

X

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

Yellow Bullhead

Ameiurus natalis

YLB

X

 

X

X

 

 

 

X

Yellow Perch

Perca flavescens

YEP

X

 

X

X

 

X

 

 

Imported Baitfish Species

Bluntnose Minnow

Pimephales notatus

BNM

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

Common Shiner

Luxilus cornutus

CSH

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

Common White Sucker

Catostomus commersonii

CWS

X

X

 

X

 

X

 

 

Creek Chub

Semotilus atromaculatus

CRC

X

X

 

X

 

X

 

 

Emerald Shiner

Notropis atherinoides

EMS

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

Fathead Minnow

Pimephales promelas

FHM

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

Golden Shiner

Notemigonus crysoleucas

GOS

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

Northern Redbelly Dace

Phoxinus eos

NRD

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

Sand Shiner

Notropis stramineus

SAS

X

X

 

X

 

X

 

 

Spotfin Shiner

Cyprinella spiloptera

SFS

X

X

 

X

 

X

 

 

Spottail Shiner

Notropis hudsonius

STS

X

X

 

X

 

X

 

 

VHSv – Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia, IHNv – Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis, IPNv – Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis, Mcer – Myxobolus cerebralis, causative agent of Whirling Disease, HSP – Heterosporis sp, LMBv – Largemouth Bass Virus, CCv – Channel Catfish virus

 

 

 

 

MDARD:

Michigan Aquaculture Development Act, Act 199 of 1996: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(byim1cv3mxgg3qos4ppwtf0n))/documents/mcl/pdf/mcl-Act-199-of-1996.pdf

Animal Industry Act Act466 of 1988: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/mcl/pdf/mcl-act-466-of-1988.pdf

List of approved species for aquaculture in Michigan: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdard/Approved_freshwater_species_are_as_follows_479850_7.pdf

List of Michigan Prohibited Species: http://www.michigan.gov/invasives/0,5664,7-324-68002_74282---,00.html

 

 

DNR regs:

ACT 451 Part 459  : http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(ffhervlovtethvxim3rslc5s))/documents/mcl/pdf/mcl-451-1994-III-2-3-AQUATIC-SPECIES-459.pdf

Act 451 Part 487 :  http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(a5nbgsrzr1uqm045ueegpa55))/documents/mcl/pdf/mcl-451-1994-III-2-3-AQUATIC-SPECIES-487.pdf

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