Missouri Import Regulations


Last updated: 9/27/16

! 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:

Timothy J. Bruce, Ph.D.
Missouri Department of Conservation
Lost Valley Fish Hatchery
28232 Hatchery Ave.
Warsaw, MO  65355
FAX: 660-428-1256

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
email: Animal.Health@mda.mo.gov

State Fish Health Authorities / Laboratories

Dr. Timothy Bruce (above)


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: http://moaquaculture.org/regs.html

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).

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

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)):

Sources 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. (copepods). 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.  Permit applications can be obtained from the Missouri Department of Conservation (see contact above).

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.