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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 10 Appendix : Vermont Fish and Wildlife Regulations

Chapter 002 : Fish

Subchapter 002 : Seasons, Waters, and Limits

(Cite as: 10 App. V.S.A. § 121)
  • § 121. Rule establishing a list for prohibited, restricted and unrestricted fish species

    1.0 Authority.

    1.1 This rule is adopted pursuant to 10 V.S.A § 4081(a) which provides that the protection, propagation, control, management, and conservation of fish, wildlife, and furbearing animals in this State is in the interest of the public welfare and that the safeguarding of these valuable resources for the people of the State requires a constant and continual vigilance.

    1.2 10 V.S.A. § 4605(c)(3) provides that the Commissioner may, by rule, adopt a list of fish which, if introduced into Vermont waters, have the potential to cause harm to the fish population of the State.

    2.0 Purpose.

    2.1 It is the purpose of this regulation to carry out the mandate of the Vermont General Assembly to control through a permit program the importation and possession of fish species as provided in 10 V.S.A. § 4605(c)(3) to guard the health of Vermont’s fish populations by preventing the introduction of fish species that could have the potential to cause harm to fish populations of the State.

    3.0 Definitions.

    3.1 “Fish” means all live fresh- and salt-water fish species including viable fish ovum and viable fish semen.

    3.2 “Transgenic Fish” means any fish that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology. This definition does not include diploid, triploid, or hybrid-crossed fish.

    3.3 “Department” means Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

    3.4 “Commissioner” means Fish and Wildlife Department Commissioner.

    3.5 “Person” means an individual, association, corporation, partnership, or municipality, or other entity.

    3.6 “State” means State of Vermont.

    4.0 Importation and Possession of Live Fish.

    4.1 This rule establishes a list by which the importation and possession of fish shall be regulated.

    4.1.1 Prohibited Fish Species Section: Fish species for which importation into or possession within Vermont shall be prohibited except through a Commissioner’s Prohibited Fish Species Permit. This section of the list primarily includes species not native to the State that are known to pose a threat to Vermont’s fish populations and/or aquatic ecosystems.

    4.1.2 Restricted Fish Species Section: This section of the list primarily includes native and certain naturalized fish species which although they may not require a Commissioner’s Prohibited Fish Species Permit as set out in 4.1.1 above, may be regulated through other department permits including but not limited to 10 V.S.A. § 4605(b) Importation of Fish; 10 V.S.A. § 5403, Protection of Endangered and Threatened Species; and 10 V.S.A. App. § 122, Fish Regulations.

    4.1.3 Unrestricted Fish Species Section: This section of the list primarily includes species commonly imported into the State for the pet or aquarium trade and are currently considered to pose minimal or no risk to Vermont fish populations. A Commissioner’s Prohibited Fish Species Permit is not required to import or possess these species. Additionally, any species not on the Unrestricted, Restricted and Prohibited lists and which natural global distribution range occurs entirely within the bounds of the 30° north latitude and the 30° south latitude may be imported or possessed in Vermont without prior review and approval of the Commissioner. Notwithstanding the foregoing, an importation permit is required for any fish brought into the State which are intended to be introduced into waters of the State as per 10 V.S.A. § 4605(b), and no fish shall be introduced into any waters except private ponds lacking access to other waters of the State as per 10 V.S.A. § 4605(a).

    4.2 All fish species not included in the sections of the list covered by 4.1.2 (Restricted Fish Species Section) and 4.1.3 (Unrestricted Fish Species Section) shall also be considered to be Prohibited Fish Species.

    4.3 The importation and/or possession of transgenic fishes shall be prohibited unless explicitly included in the Unrestricted Fish Species section.

    5.0 Review, Revision & Maintenance of List.

    5.1 The Commissioner may review and revise the species contained within the list. The public may submit any species of fish for consideration of inclusion in this list by submitting a written request with relevant documentation.

    5.2 The Department shall maintain an up-to-date list of prohibited, restricted, and unrestricted fish species and shall make this list available on the Department’s website, from the Department’s headquarters and from the Department’s district offices.

    6.0 Permits.

    6.1 Prohibited Fish Species Permits. The Commissioner may issue a Commissioner’s Prohibited Fish Species Permit allowing importation and possession of a fish on the Prohibited Fish Species section of the list.

    6.1.1 In issuing a permit, the Commissioner shall consider:

    (a) 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;

    (b) Whether the purpose is for research;

    (c) Whether the purpose is for education;

    c (d) Whether it is for public purpose;

    c (e) Whether there are available alternatives;

    c (f) The health of native or naturalized fish species.

    6.1.2 A permit issued under this subsection shall include conditions that ensure the health and safety of Vermont’s fish population.

    6.2 Restricted Fish Species Permits. Fish in the Restricted Fish Species section do not require a Commissioner’s Prohibited Fish Species Permit. However, as noted in paragraph 4.1.2 above, other Department permits may be required to import and/or possess fish listed in the Restricted Fish Species section.

    7.0 Permit Applications.

    7.1 Applications for Commissioner’s Prohibited Fish Species Permits shall be complete and submitted to the Department on an application form to be provided by the Department. For an application to be considered complete, it shall be legible, shall contain all information requested by the Department, shall contain no false statements, shall bear the applicant’s official signature and shall be accompanied by the required application fee.

    7.2 With regard to all fish, the applicant shall present to the Department, as a requirement of the permit, written fish health inspection reports as the Department may specify, and invoices clearly indicating the source of the fish to be imported. Fish health inspection reports shall be made by a qualified fish health inspector acceptable to the Department.

    8.0 Inspections.

    8.1 Persons holding a Commissioner’s Prohibited Fish Species Permit shall allow inspection at reasonable times of their premises, facilities, records, and fish by the Commissioner or the Commissioner’s designee(s).

    8.2 The issued permit shall be available for inspection by the Commissioner or the Commissioner’s designee(s).

    9.0 Quarantine, Destruction or Sterilization Where Disease and/or Harmful Species are Present.

    9.1 The Department may require a period of quarantine and treatment, the destruction of fish, and/or order remedial action if necessary, if a harmful fish species and/or fish pathogen is confirmed. This shall occur at the expense of the owner. (Added 2009, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg., eff. Jan. 10, 2010; amended 2018 Fish and Wildlife Reg., eff. Feb. 1, 2018.)