Last updated: 9/16/16
! 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
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission:
Nebraska Game & Parks Commission
Fish Production Section
2200 North 33rd
Lincoln, NE 68503-3070
State Fish Health Laboratories - none
Nebraska Department of Agriculture
Ag Promotion and Development
PO Box 94947
Lincoln, NE 68509‐4947
Phone: (402) 471‐4876
Fax: (402) 471‐2759
Aquaculture Industry Contacts
Nebraska Aquaculture Industry contact
RR2 Box 122
Broadwater, NE 69122
Ph: (308) 377-2327
Ostrum Acres Fish Farm
RR 3, Box 14 McCook NE. 69001
Interim District Director – NEREC
601 E Benjamin Ave - Suite 104
Norfolk, NE 68701
NE Administrative Code summary (aquaculture and baitfish)
Nearly all regulatory authority for aquaculture and baitfish is promulgated though NE Game and Parks Commission (NGPC). Pertinent live fish import requirements are posted in NE Administrative Code (AC)
Sec. 002 Non-resident fish dealers and exportation, importation and possession regulations
Sec. 005 Aquaculture Regulations
Sec. 009 Bait collecting and dealer regulations
In summary, live fish importation to NE falls under the following restrictions:
- An "Application for Importation" (aquaculture) or "Application for importation of Bait" (baitfish) with a current disease inspection report (within 12 months) will be submitted to NGPC not less than 10 days prior to each importation.
- "Non-resident Fish Dealer Permits" must be obtained from NGPC for importation of live aquatic animals by out-of state suppliers (fees).
- Salmonids (trout, char, salmon) can be imported as gametes or eggs only and from a facility certified annually against: VHS, IPN, IHN, EED, Oncohynchus masau, SVCV, BKD, and whirling disease. No live salmonid (fish) can be imported.
- All live fish imports to NE must be from a facility certified annually against VHS and SVCV.
- Largemouth bass imports must be certified against LMBV
- Yellow perch imports must be certified against heterosporis
- Bi-annual reports are required for “non-resident fish dealers” permits and “put-and take operators”, annual reports are required for in-state aquaculture facilities and bait dealer permits.
- An “approval for importation” obtained from NGPC and a copy of the latest fish health report must be carried on the transport vehicle.
- A list of live aquatic animals approved by NGPC for import for aquaculture can be found at Chapter 2 link above.
- A list of live aquatic animals approved by NGPC for import for baitfish can be found within the above link and in section 009 of AC Title 163 chapter 2.
- All disease inspections shall be conducted by methods and procedures acceptable to the Commission. The most recent publication of the "Suggested Procedures for the Detection and Identification of Certain Finfish and Shellfish Pathogens" published by the Fish Health Section of the American Fisheries.
- Society should be used as a guideline.
- Inspections shall be conducted by an individual certified as a Fish Health Inspector or Fish Pathologist or as approved by the Commission.
On-line forms and fees
Online forms and fee structures are available at:
Nebraska Games and Parks Commission Oversight
Commercial put and take facility regulations
Commercial put and take facilities (in state) are allowed with proper permit. Importation of live fish is similar to that for aquaculture facilities. For further details, see section 001 of AC Title 163 chapter 2.
Non-resident fish dealer’s, importations, possession
A separate non-resident fish dealers permit is required to import and sell live aquatic animals in NE by out of state suppliers. Health certification requirements apply to all species being imported. “Application for Importation” forms must be submitted to NGPC within 10 days prior to importation. Bi-annual reports are required to NGPC by non-resident fish dealer permit holders. For further details, see section 002 of AC Title 163 chapter 2.
Aquaculture facility regulations
Aquaculture facility permits are required for in-state propagation, and rearing of live aquatic organisms for sale. Importations by in-state facilities require an approved “Application for Importation” form similar to above. Health certification requirements apply to all species being imported. Annual reports are required to NGPC by licensed aquaculture facilities. For further details, see section 005 of AC Title 163 chapter 2.
Bait collecting and dealer regulations
Bait may be possessed and utilized by: 1) individuals for fishing; 2) licensed bait dealers; 3) licensed aquaculturists; and, 4) licensed nonresident fish dealers. Baitfish importation is restricted to species listed at the beginning of section 9 of Title 163 Chapter 2. Health certification requirements apply to all species being imported. Restrictions exist for taking, selling and use of gamefish as baitfish, and for exporting baitfish out of NE. Annual reports are required to NGPC by licensed bait dealers. For further details, see section 009 of AC Title 163 chapter 2.