Importing fish is regulated to protect the health of Vermont's fish populations and prevent the introduction of fish and fish diseases that could harm the state’s fisheries.
The importation and possession of fish species in Vermont is controlled through a permitting process. A Fish Importation Permit is required before importing or possessing certain fish in Vermont.
Review the following lists to determine if a permit is required.
In addition to the above lists, other conditions may determine the need for a permit
- Introducing Fish to State Waters
An importation permit is required for any fish brought into the state which are intended to be introduced into waters of the state, and no fish can be introduced into any waters except private ponds lacking access to other waters of the state.
- Transgenic Fishes
Importing or possessing transgenic fishes is prohibited unless explicitly included in the Unrestricted Fish Species List. A transgenic fish is any fish that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology--not including diploid, triploid, or hybrid-crossed fish.
How do I get a Fish Importation Permit?
To obtain a permit, complete the Fish Importation Permit Application Form (Word format / pdf format) and submit it with the $50 application fee to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department PRIOR to importing the fish. Include with the application written fish health inspection reports made by a qualified fish health inspector and invoices indicating the source of the fish to be imported. Allow at least 30 days for permit issuance.
What are the criteria for issuing a Prohibited Fish Species Permit?
A Prohibited Fish Species Permit may be issued based on these considerations:
- How the fish are being kept in a controlled environment including but not limited to artificial tanks without inflow or outflow, and without connection to waters of the state
- Whether the purpose is for research
- Whether the purpose is for education
- Whether it is for public purpose
- Whether there are available alternatives
- The health of native or naturalized fish species
When a permit is issued it will include conditions that ensure the health and safety of Vermont's fish population.