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Fish Hatchery Permit

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:

Stocking fish into publicly or privately owned waters of New York State.

Other Pertinent Information

  • Fish Health Certification Requirements: Before fish are offered for sale, sold, bartered, imported or transported for stocking into waters of New York State they must be certified disease free.
    • To get fish certified, the fish need to be collected by an independent qualified inspector that meet certain criteria and are familiar with the fish collection process for disease testing. For current contact information of qualified inspectors or to learn how to become a qualified inspector, call the DEC Rome Fish Disease Control Center at 315-337-0910.
    • The qualified inspector will send fish to an appropriate laboratory for disease testing where a standard fish health inspection form (PDF) is issued for the fish or "lot" of fish collected to certify them as disease free for up to 12 months.
    • A completed fish health inspection report must be held on premises where the fish are raised and a copy must be provided to the purchaser at the time of sale.
  • 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) (405 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

All links to the laws and regulations leave the DEC website.

New York Codes Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)

Environmental Conservation Law (ECL)

To find these laws, click on the link then click on ENV, then find Article 11, then click on the appropriate law.

Contact Information

DEC Special Licenses Unit
Address: 625 Broadway, Albany NY 12233
Phone: 518-402-8985

Additional Resources and Information

Commercial Fish Hatcheries: list of licensed fish hatcheries.

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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    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4752
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