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Missouri Import Regulations

Last updated: June 6th, 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   

Missouri Department of Conservation:

Michael J. Mitchell
Fisheries Administrative Manager
Missouri Department of Conservation
P.O. Box 180
Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-751-4115 ext. 3152

Missouri Department of Agriculture:

Dr. Linda Hickam, DVM, State Veterinarian
Animal Health Division
Missouri Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 630
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0630
(573) 751-3377
link ( 

State Fish Health Authorities / Laboratories

Animal Health Division
Phone: (573) 751-3377
link ( 


Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab
University of Missouri Veterinary School

Aquaculture Industry Contacts

Missouri Aquaculture Association

Missouri Department of Conservation Regulatory Authority

Missouri Department of Conservation has various regulatory controls over aquaculture and baitfish activities in the State.  A good summary of State regulations can be found on the MOAA website.

Pertinent state codes can be found in the Missouri Code of State Regulations, 3 CSR 10-9.110 "General Prohibition; Applications"


In Missouri, aquaculture is defined as livestock and is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture.  Aquaculture facilities raising approved aquatic species do not require annual facility registration (Department of Natural Resources discharge permits may apply).  The approved aquatic species list can be found at 3 CSR 10-9.110(3)H

Exemptions exist for rearing species not on the approved species list for aquariums, “closed systems”, and species that cannot survive in fresh water.  Written authorization is required from the Department of Conservation for rearing non-approved species, which may only be held or raised in “closed aquaculture systems” (see 3 CSR 10-9.110(3)(G).

If the species being imported is from the family Salmonidae, then there are certain requirements in the “Wildlife Code of Missouri” (SEE BELOW - CSR 10-9.110 General Prohibition; Applications and CSR 10-4.117 Prohibited Species). 

Prohibited species may not be imported, exported, transported, sold, purchased, or possessed alive in Missouri without written approval of the director of the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Live fish importation - Entry Permits and VHS

Aquaculture. All aquaculture entering Missouri must be accompanied by a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection and obtain an entry permit. All Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) susceptible species must be tested in compliance with federal regulations; laboratory, test date, and results must be listed on the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (2 CSR 30-2.010 (15))

Entry permit numbers may be obtained by contacting the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Division of Animal Health, (573) 751-4359.

Salmonid importation permits

3 CSR 10-9.110 General Prohibition; Applications

A salmonid importation permit is required to import live fish, their eggs and gametes "of the family Salmonidae (trouts, char, salmon)" into the state.
(see 3 CSR 10-9.110(4)):

Live fish, their eggs, and gametes of the family Salmonidae (trouts, char, salmon) may be imported to the state only by the holder of a salmonid importation permit and any other appropriate state permit. An importation permit shall be required for each shipment and will be issued at no charge. Application forms for the salmonid importation permit can be obtained from:

Missouri Department of Conservation
PO Box 180
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180

and online at The application for salmonid importation permit must be received not less than fifteen (15) nor more than eighty (80) days prior to the proposed date of shipment. Prior to permit issuance, the immediate source of the importation must be currently certified as negative for viral hemorrhagic septicemia, infectious pancreatic necrosis, infectious hematopoietic necrosis, Myxobolus cerebralis, or other diseases which may threaten fish stocks within the state, must have been certified negative for the previous three (3) consecutive years, and must not pose a threat of introducing unwanted species. When importing live fish, the immediate source of importation must be certified as currently free of Salmincola spp. Certification will only be accepted from federal, state, or industry personnel approved by the department and only in accordance with provisions on the permit application form. Fish, eggs, and gametes imported under this permit are subject to inspection by authorized agents of the department and this inspection may include removal of reasonable samples of fish or eggs for biological examination.

Baitfish dealer registration

3 CSR 10-10.735 Sale of Live Bait (excerpts)

(1) Any person, group or business that sells live bait, as defined in 3 CSR 10-6.605, must register annually with the department as a live bait dealer.  Registration forms may be obtained by contacting the Department of Conservation or from the DOC Bait Dealer Registration Form link.

(2) Live bait may not be sold if obtained from the waters of the state except when taken by a licensed commercial fisherman from commercial waters. Live bait purchased or obtained from a licensed commercial fisherman or other legal sources must be species listed in the Approved Aquatic Species List (3 CSR 10-9.110(3)(H)).           


Only the Virile ("Northern") crayfish may be purchased for re-sale or sold for use as live bait. They may not be imported live into the state (3CSR 10-9.110 (3) (E))

Prohibited Species

Prohibited aquatic species in Missouri include both endangered and invasive species. See 3 CSR 10-4.111 Endangered Species, and 3 CSR 10.4.117 Prohibited Species.

3 CSR 10-4.117 Prohibited Species

PURPOSE: This rule establishes a list of species that may not be possessed in Missouri.

(1) Prohibited species may not be imported, exported, transported, sold, purchased, or possessed alive in Missouri without written approval of the director.

(2) For the purpose of this rule, prohibited species of wildlife shall include the following:

(A) Mammals: Any species of flying fox or fruit bat of the genus Pteropus; any species of mongoose or meerkat of the genera Atilax, Cynictis, Helogale, Herpestes, Ichneumia, Mungos, or Suricata; any species of the Indian wild dog, red dog, or dhole of the genus Cuon; any species of the multimammat rat or mouse of the genus Mastomys; raccoon dog, Nyctereutes procyonoides; brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula;

(B) Birds: pink starling or rosy pastor, Sturnus roseus; species of dioch (including the subspecies black-fronted, red-billed, or Sudan dioch), Quelea quelea; Java sparrow, Padda oryzivora; red whiskered bul-bul, Pycnonotus jocosus;

(C) Fishes: Live fish or viable eggs of black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus); round goby (Neogobius melanostomus); tubenose goby (Proterorhinus semilunaris); snakehead fish of the genera Channa or Parachanna (or the generic synonyms ofBostrychoides, Ophicephalus, Ophiocephalus, and Parophio-cephalus); walking catfish of the family Clariidae; and

(D) Invertebrates: New Zealand mudsnail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum; rusty crayfish, Orconectes rusticus; marbled crayfish,Procambarus marmorkrebs; Australian crayfish of the genus Cherax; mitten crabs of the genus Eriocheir; zebra mussels,Dreissena polymorpha; quagga mussels, Dreissena rostriformis; mystery snails of the genus Cipangopaludina.