North Dakota Import Regulations

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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

North Dakota Game and Fish Department:
Greg Power
North Dakota Game and Fish Department
Fisheries Division
100 North Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, ND 58501
701-328-6323

State Fish Health Authorities / Laboratories
Dr. Susan J. Keller, State Veterinarian
North Dakota State Board of Animal Health
North Dakota Department of Agriculture
doa-bah@nd.gov
(701) 328-2655

Dr. Larry Schuler, AVIC
USDA, APHIS
(701) 250-4210

Aquaculture Industry Contacts

Dr. Mark Clark
Department of Biological Sciences
North Dakota State University
311 Stevens Hall
Fargo, ND  58105-5517
Phone: (701) 231-8246
Fax: (701) 231-7149
m.e.clark@ndsu.edu

North Dakota Game and Fish Department Regulatory Authority

Authority for aquaculture in North Dakota lies with North Dakota Game and Fish.

Private fish hatcheries

North Dakota Administrative Code 30-03-02 (excerpt)

An operator of a licensed fish hatchery may sell fish owned or raised for market or for stocking other waters. The operator also may operate the operator’s fish hatchery as a fishpond and may sell fish caught from the pond by fee-paying anglers. Live fish purchased for stocking private ponds may be transported only if a bill of sale from the vendor accompanies the load of fish. 

For additional information on private fish hatchery requirements see: 30-03-02

Interstate transport by private fish hatcheries

30-03-02-06. Transportation of authorized fish stock into, out of, or within the state by a licensed hatchery operator in a private fish hatchery may be done only with a permit issued by the director and only in the manner approved by the director. All fish stock entering the state must be accompanied by disease-free certification and a bill of sale from the vendor. Disease-free certification will be species specific as warranted by the department.

Transporting Live Game Fish

 To/from a Private Fish Hatchery or to a Private Access Fish Pond only – (NDAC 30-03-02-06, 30-04-04-04)

o   Import/export permit required for fish coming into or shipped out of the state

o   Only walleye, northern pike, trout, crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, channel catfish, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass are allowed

o   Disease free certification of species imported must be provided to the Department prior to issuance of an import permit

o   VHS free – federal status approval (if required)

o   A  ‘bill of sale’ from the vendor must accompany any live fish being transported and may be required to be submitted to the Department with the number, age and species information

o   If stocked into a North Dakota water, a valid stocking permit must be possessed

o   No aquatic vegetation or ANS may be transported

For angler caught fish transported away from a water body

(NDAC 30-03-06-05)

o   NOT ALLOWED in water (other than ice)

Notes: 

           1)  Fish import permits and health documents are required to be submitted to the North Dakota Department of Game and Fish.  

           2)  The Game and Fish Director will publish a list of fish species that may be authorized for raising or holding in a licensed fish hatchery, as well as species specific disease certification requirements for imports.  For clarification contact the North Dakota Game and Fish Department (above).  

For additional information on private fish hatchery requirements see: 30-03-02

Retail or wholesale bait vendor

30-03-01.1 (excerpt) Retail or wholesale bait vendor licenses are issued for a calendar year to one person only. The holder of a retail bait vendor license may sell live bait at retail only, at one specified selling location per license. A wholesale bait vendor may only sell live bait to licensed bait vendors. Both a retail license and a wholesale license are necessary to sell live bait at both retail and wholesale.

Interstate transport of live baitfish

30-03-01.1-08. It is illegal to import fathead minnows or stickleback into the state. It is illegal to import other live baitfish or live bait into the state except with a permit issued by the director and only in the manner approved by the director. It is illegal to export live bait out of the state except with a permit issued by the director and only in the manner approved by the director. It is illegal to transport live baitfish through the state except with a permit issued by the director and only in the manner approved by the director. Permit applications must be received by the director a minimum of forty-eight hours prior to any planned import or export of live bait.

Transporting Live Aquatic Bait Fish

Retail and/or Wholesale licensees

(Governors Proclamation, NDAC 30-03-01.1-08,10,11, 30-03-06-05, 30-04-04-04)

o   Only fathead minnows, brook stickleback, white sucker and creek chub are allowed

o   Import/export permit required for bait fish coming into or shipped out of the state (no fatheads may be imported); this also applies to other aquatics including leeches

o   If stocked into a North Dakota water, a valid stocking permit must be possessed

o   No ANS may be transported

o   No ANS may be transported into the state

Private Fish Hatchery licensee

(NDAC 30-03-06-05, 30-04-04-04)

o   Only creek chubs and white suckers (aquaculture facilities only) are allowed

o   Import/export permit required for fish coming into or shipped out of the state

o   Disease free certification of species imported must be provided to the Department prior to issuance of an import permit

o   VHS free – federal status approval (if required)

o   A  ‘bill of sale’ from the vendor must accompany any live fish being transported and may be required to be submitted to the Department with the number, age and species information

o   If stocked into a North Dakota water, a valid stocking permit must be possessed

o   No aquatic vegetation or ANS may be transported

Anglers

(Governors Proclamation, NDAC 30-03-06-05)

o   Anglers may not transport live aquatic bait including fish into North Dakota from surrounding states/provinces

o   Within North Dakota, only fathead minnows, brook stickleback, white sucker and creek chub are allowed for transport in containers less than five gallons

o   Note:  Water (including in minnow buckets) may not be transported away from waters of the state designated as infested with class I prohibited aquatic nuisance species

o   No aquatic vegetation or ANS may be transported

For additional information on baitfish regulations see: 30-03-01

Aquatic nuisance and prohibited species

North Dakota has published a Statewide Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan, which includes a list of aquatic nonindigenous and nuisance species (see Appendix O, pg 150)

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