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Fish Hatchery Permits

Authorizes an individual to operate a private commercial fish hatchery with trout or black bass fish species. Note: to operate a hatchery with other freshwater fish species (i.e. tilapia, white perch, etc.) a hatchery permit is not required.

License Details


No fee

License Duration

1-year license (January 1 - December 31)

What This License Allows:

DEC issues 2 types of hatchery permits, which allow the following activities:

  • Trout Hatchery Permit:
    • Breeding and raising trout species, including:
      • Brook trout
      • Brown trout
      • Rainbow trout
      • Atlantic salmon
      • Other salmonid species
    • Selling hatchery-raised trout.
  • Black Bass Hatchery Permit:
    • Breeding and raising smallmouth bass and largemouth bass.
    • Selling hatchery-raised largemouth bass.
    • Selling hatchery-raised smallmouth bass except for human consumption.

What This License Does Not Allow:

  • Selling hatchery-raised smallmouth bass for human consumption.
  • Stocking fish into publicly or privately owned waters of New York State (requires a stocking permit).

Other Pertinent Information

  • Fish Health Certification Report: Prior to stocking fish into the waters of the state or selling fish for stocking, the licensee must have a valid fish health certification report to indicate that the fish are free of diseases. More details can be found in the regulations link below.
  • Tagging Hatchery-Raised Trout for Sale: Carcasses of trout offered for sale, sold or transported must be either:
    • Tagged or packed in a container with the name of the producer, or
    • If imported from a foreign country: packed in a container with the name of the country of origin.
  • Black Bass Transportation and Sale: details on the sale and distribution of hatchery-reared largemouth bass for human consumption.

How to Apply

  1. Have a sketch or aerial map of the facility layout, including dimensions.
  2. Under the following conditions, have the appropriate documents noted:
    • If selling fish for stocking purposes: Copy of fish health certificate
    • If stocking into an open waterbody: Copy of stocking permit and fish health certificate
    • If applicant is not the landowner: Letter of written permission from landowner
  3. Complete and submit the Hatchery Permit Application (PDF) (939 KB)

Renewing & Reporting

License Renewal

Licensees will receive a renewal notice prior to the expiration date noted on the license. If you did not receive a renewal notice 2-weeks prior to expiration, please contact us.

Annual Reporting

A report must be complete for black bass hatchery license holders only. Details on what and how to report is detailed on the license conditions.

Laws & Regulations

New York Codes Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)

Environmental Conservation Law (ECL)

Contact Information

Bureau of Fisheries
Address: 625 Broadway, Albany NY 12233
Phone: 518-402-8890

Additional Resources and Information

Other Related or Similar Licenses

Marine Aquaculture and Hatchery Permits: DEC issues several licenses for raising and culturing marine fish or shellfish species.

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    Fish, Wildlife & Marine Resources
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4752
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