Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Aquaculture Contacts and Regulations, Fish Importation Regulations and Approved Aquatic Species List

Aquaculturists transporting or selling aquatic life 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 and Fish Importation Authorities

Illinois Department of Natural Resources:
Kevin S. Irons
Aquaculture and ANS Program Manager

Primary Contact:
Blake Ruebush
Aquaculture and ANS Program
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, Illinois 62702-1271
blake.ruebush@illinois.gov
Phone: 217-558-4743
Fax: 217-785-2438

Illinois Department of Agriculture:
Delayne Reeves
Illinois Department of Agriculture Marketing and Promotion
State Fairgrounds, P. O. Box 19281
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9281
Phone: 217/524-9129
Fax: 217/524-5960
delayne.reeves@illinois.gov

State Fish Health Authorities

IDNR fish health specialist for State fish health issues:

Lynette Mick
Jake Wolf State Fish Hatchery
Phone: 309/968-7531
Lynnette.mick@illinois.gov

Kevin Irons
Aquaculture and Aquatic Nuisance Species Program Manager
Phone: 309/557-0719

In-state sample collection / prep / submission only:
Paul Hitchens, Aquaculture Specialist
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
Phone (618) 453-5590

Aquaculture Industry Contacts

Illinois Aquaculture Association
Bob Boyd
1855 Kratsinger Hollow Rd
Cobden, Illinois 62920
Phone: 618/525-1419
www.bobshrimp.com

Illinois Fish Dealers List
A listing of private fish dealers in IL is available here.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Oversight

Summary of Illinois fish import requirements, restricted species transportation permit, aquaculture permit, injurious species permit, special circumstances authorization and list of approved species:

Nearly all regulatory authority for aquaculture and fish importation is promulgated though IDNR. Much of the requirements for aquaculture and fish importation activities in the state are covered by regulations:

17 ILL. ADM.CODE sec 870.50 515 ILCS5/ and sec 875.10-875.50.

In summary, persons wishing to import live aquatic life into the state from an outside state must obtain:

Live fish imports/fish health requirements

(515 ILCS 5/10 105) (from Ch. 56, par. 10 105)
Sec. 10 105. Fish importation permits. Live fish, viable fish eggs, or viable sperm of any species or hybrid of salmon or trout may be imported into the State only by the holder of a fish importation permit and other required State permits. Importation permits shall be issued at no charge to a person who has applied on a Department special permit form, no less than 15 days nor more than 30 days before shipment, provided that the shipment is not considered detrimental to the fishery resource of the State.

An importation permit shall be issued only if the source hatchery is inspected and found free of those diseases designated by administrative rule of the Department, or any other diseases, that may be detrimental to the fishery resource of the State. Inspections may be carried out only by persons recognized by the Department as competent in the diagnosis of fish diseases (contact IDNR Program Manager for clarification). An importation permit may be granted by the Department for extended periods of up to 6 months from the date the source hatchery is certified as being disease free.

Importation permit requirements do not apply to salmon or trout in transit through the State that will not be released from their original containers.

(17 ILL. ADM.CODE sec 870.50)
Health certifications for salmonid importations include, but are not limited to: VHS, IHN, CS-ceratomyxosis, PKD.

The importer of VHSv susceptible or fish stocks originating from an affected region must supply an acceptable Fish Health Inspection Report. The official list of VHS-susceptible species as identified by the Department and affected regions will be available from IDNR and USDA-APHIS. (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/focusonfish//species-affected.php) All specimens approved under the permit must be imported to the facilities or locations identified on the permit.

The Department recognizes persons inspecting hatcheries using the methods of diagnosis found in "Suggested Procedures for the Detection and Identification of Certain Finfish and Shellfish Pathogens" 4th ed., Version 1 (1994), published by the Fish Health Section of the American Fisheries Society or the "Manual of Compliance to the Fish Health Protection Regulations of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada (1988).

Special Circumstances Authorization
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will issue Special Circumstances Authorization (Illinois Administrative Rule regarding Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia 875.50 b) to licensed commercial fishers to allow the overland transport of legal commercial fish (including VHSv susceptible Channel Catfish Ictalurid punctatus) and the water needed to haul fish from commercially fishable waters to be stocked into wholly privately owned water bodies within the State of Illinois. Persons moving fish (subject to all other commercial fishing regulations) for stocking into private waters only, MUST have a SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES AUTHORIZATION present while transporting fish and associated waters within Illinois with all fish being documented on back of this authorization regarding date of catch and transport, location caught (minimum of River/Pool; or lake name), and destination address. Private landowner must sign for receipt of these fish immediately upon stocking

Aquaculture facility permits
(515 ILCS 5/20 90)
Sec. 20 90. Aquaculture permits. Any person who shall engage in the breeding, hatching, propagation, or raising of aquatic life, whether indigenous or non indigenous to this State, shall first procure a permit from the Department to do so. Aquatic life specified, which is bred, hatched, propagated or raised by a person holding a permit as provided for in this Section, may be transported and sold for food or stocking purposes. Permittees who sell aquatic life propagated or raised under this permit are exempt from possessing a fish or minnow dealers license.

Sec 870.30. Permit applicants wishing to import/possess aquatic life that appears on the Aquatic Life Approved Species List may apply for a permit prior to completion of their aquaculture facilities. Permit applicants wishing to import/possess aquatic life not on the Aquatic Life Approved Species List must have an aquaculture facilities plan completed and approved by the Department prior to issuance of the aquaculture permit. Such an issued permit is conditional, pending final inspection. Aquaculture permit packets may be requested through Aquaculture Program Manager.

Non-resident aquatic life dealers license
Non-resident fish dealer license allows a non-resident of IL to sell or ship to other wholsalers, retailers or consumers in IL any protected aquatic life. This is an annual permit with fee and expires on 1/31 of every year. Call DNR at 217/785-3423 or 217/782-2965 for application.

Restricted species transportation permits
Section 870.60
A restricted species transportation permit is required for any injurious species which include bighead carp, silver carp, or live grass carp. Restricted Species Transportation Permits are available from the Division of Fisheries, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield IL 62702-1271. Applications must be received by the Division of Fisheries at least two weeks prior to the proposed shipment date. A "Restricted Species Transportation Permit" shall be required for each shipment, except that extended permits covering regular periodic deliveries may be granted by the Department pursuant to Section 10-105 of the Fish and Aquatic Life Code. Triploid grass carp under 4 inches in length cannot be shipped, transported or stocked and may be possessed only by authorized aquaculture permit holders. Some exemptions exist for private lake and pond owners. Diploid grass carp will not be allowed to be transported live to fish markets for retail or wholesale sale.

Resident retail and wholesale aquatic life dealer license
Resident retail fish dealer permits are required for IL residents conducting a retail fish market or selling from a truck aquatic life that are protected species and indigenous to Illinois. Resident Wholesale Fish Dealer is issued to IL residents conducting a wholesale fish market or selling aquatic life wholesale that are protected species and indigenous to Illinois. These are annual permits with fee expiring on 1/31 of every year. Call DNR at 217/785-3423 or 217/782-2965 for applications.

Resident retail and wholesale minnow dealer permits
Resident retail minnow dealer permits are required for retail sale of minnows and frogs for bait. Resident Wholesale Minnow Dealer allows the wholesale sale of minnows and frogs. These are annual permits with fee expiring on 1/31 of every year. Call DNR at 217/785-3423 or 217/782-2965 for applications.

Resident and non-resident mussel dealer permits
Resident Mussel Dealer permits are required for Illinois residents who receive, buy or offer to buy or who act as agents or brokers in the receipt or purchase of mussels. Non-resident mussel dealer permits are required for non-residents who purchase mussels in Illinois. These are annual permits with fee expiring on 1/31 of every year. Call DNR at 217/785-3423 or 217/782-2965 for applications.

Injurious Species Regulations
(17 ILL. ADM.CODE sec 805.30)
Injurious species shall not be possessed, propagated, bought, sold, bartered or offered to be bought, sold, bartered, transported, traded, transferred or loaned to any other person or institution unless a permit is first obtained from the Department of Natural Resources in accordance with Section 805.40 of this Part, except persons engaged in interstate transport for lawful commercial purposes who do not buy, sell, barter, trade, transfer, loan or offer to do so in Illinois may transport injurious species across Illinois without an injurious species permit from the Department Illinois Injurious species are listed in Part 805 of AC17 Chapter 1b: http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/017/01700805sections.html

FAQs

Do I need a permit to stock fish in my pond? 

No, you do not need a permit to stock your personal pond unless you will be utilizing the pond for aquaculture purposes then an aquaculture permit is required.

What do I need to sell and import fish in Illinois? 

To sell aquatic life in Illinois an aquatic life dealer's license is required. For fish importation either a VHSv susceptible species importation permit or a salmonid importation permit will be required.

What fish species can carry VHSv? 

The current list of VSVv species is listed on the USDA-APHIS web page or Illinois VHSv Emergency rule. (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/focusonfish//species-affected.php), (sec 875.10-875.50)

What is considered a VHSv affected region? 

Those areas designated by USDA-APHIS as Affected or At-Risk Regions. Currently, these are the U.S. states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and the Canadian Provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

What VHSv health inspection procedure should be followed to import fish into Illinois? 

VHSv sampling procedures and tissue analysis must meet or exceed AFS Blue Book standards. These procedures are available online; (http://fisheries.org/shop) Other procedures may be reviewed and approved by the Department of a case by case basis.

What information must a transporter provide to gain a fish importation permit? 

Applicants must provide basic information such as name, address, telephone, common and scientific name of fish, size and pounds, date of shipment, source hatchery, and any other information requested by the Department.

Can I transport VHSv susceptible fish through Illinois? 

Yes. Any shippers in interstate transport for lawful commercial purposes who do not buy, sell, barter, trade transfer, loan or offer to do so in Illinois may transport live VHSv-susceptible species across Illinois. Under no circumstances shall an interstate transporter transfer any VHSv-susceptible species from one container to another, exchange or discharge water or other materials from a VHSv-susceptible without first obtaining written permission.

What is the fee for fish importation permits? 

There are no fee's for fish importation permits, however you must request a permit for each shipment into Illinois.

Who do I contact to gain a fish importation permit? 

The primary contact for requesting a fish importation permit is;
Blake Ruebush
Aquaculture and ANS Program
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, Illinois 62702-1271
blake.ruebush@illinois.gov
Phone: 217-558-4743
Fax: 217-785-2438

Who needs to obtain an aquaculture permit? 

Any person who shall engage in the breeding, hatching, propagation, or raising of aquatic life, whether indigenous or non-indigenous to this state, shall first procure a permit from the Department to do so.

What are the Illinois approved aquatic species? 

This list of approved species can be found here.

Can I raise non approved aquatic species? 

Yes, applicants wishing to import/possess aquatic life not on the Aquatic Life Approved Species List must submit their aquaculture permit application at least 8 weeks prior to the desired date of such importation /possession.

What is the fee for aquaculture permits? 

There is a $50 annual fee for the aquaculture permit.

Can I import/transport grass carp in Illinois? 

Yes, only triploid grass carp are allowed to be imported/transported into Illinois. Transportation of grass carp require the VHSv- required testing if imported from an affected regions and restricted species permit is required.

Can I transport live commercially caught species within Illinois? 

Yes, however this requires a Special Authorization Permit to Transport Commercial Species permit.

Publications available for download

The Illinois Aquaculture Development Act

Aquaculture:Realities and Potentials When Getting Started

Aquatic Life Approved Species List

Basic Principles of Biofiltration and System Design

Crawfish Production: Harvesting, Marketing and Economics

Crawfish Production Systems

Crawfish Culture: Site Selection, Pond Construction and Water Quality

Guide for Prospective Catfish Farmers

The Pond

Producing Soft Crawfish: Is it for you?

Small-Scale Marketing of Aquaculture Products

Testing Flavor Quality of Preharvest Channel Catfish

A Time to be Born Time and A Time to Die: Causes of Fish Mortality

Water Quality Measurements Important In Catfish and Minnow Production