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My inquiry of fish not native to KY

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#1 Guest_NativeLover_*

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 07:55 PM

Hey everyone. After reading this page it left me confused as to whether or not I could legally bring back fish from other states that were not native to KY. So I emailed Fish and Wildlife Info Center for more information regarding it. This is the email I sent:

"Hello. I was hoping you could help me clarify this:


If I were to legally collect the native fish from another state would I need a wildlife permit to be able to bring them home to KY and put them in my aquarium. Im interested in starting up my fish tanks again and realise with a fishing license I would be able to collect native fish of KY for my aquarium. But I'm confused about fish of other states. Not shipping them but collecting them and bringing them home. Some clarification would be much appreciated. Thank you!"

This was their reply:

"Thanks for your question!

Since these fish are not considered “aquarium” fish based on our regulations (bought from a supplier), you should treat them like any other sport or baitfish your would be transporting. They need to be native or established in Kentucky and you would need a fishing license or transportation permit. The fishing license is the cheaper and easier choice. Make sure you are following all regulations of the state in which you are collecting them as well. Make sure they aren’t threatened or endangered species! If they are sport fish, make sure you are not transporting more than your daily limit as well."

I don't like the sound of that. It sounds like he is saying legally I couldn't bring any fish back to KY that I collected from other states if they are not native to KY. It sounds like I could buy them from suppliers though. So I sent a reply:

"Hello. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to respond to my inquiry. Just for further clarification, so I can understand, that means if, for instance, I went to Alabama. There, I legally obtained Rainbow Shiners (as far as I know not endangered or threatened) by using a seine or dipnet. Rainbow Shiners are not native to Kentucky. So you are saying that I could not legally bring them back with me to KY? If however, I found a supplier who sold Rainbow Shiners (some online stores do) then legally I could buy them as it is a supplier of them. Do I have this correct? Thank you again for taking time out of your day to help me understand!"

I am anxiously awaiting his reply. I hope I am just confused? How do you all interpret this?

#2 Guest_jblaylock_*

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:24 PM

I don't see a problem. I have read the regs many times. As long as you are not selling, bartering, etc... I don't think there is a problem.

Look, you'll NEVER get stopped by a game warden on I65 with a cooler of fish. Collect legally in the state you are in and follow KY's laws.

If you take the law as you said, you would be breaking the law by transporting tropical fish home.

Here's the bait fish law

keeping bait fish in an aquarium is legal.

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#3 Guest_NativeLover_*

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:34 PM

Hey jblaylock. I feel much better that someone more versed in ky wildlife laws than myself has chimed in. Thanks for your clarification.

Edited by NativeLover, 29 April 2013 - 08:34 PM.

#4 Guest_jblaylock_*

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:42 PM

Remember, I or NANFA isn't a ruling body. It isn't up to us to decide the legality. I'll tell you I have fish from other states.

I read it again. I think that reg more applies to other animals. Collecting non-game fish falls more under the bait fish law.

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#5 Guest_NativeLover_*

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 11:34 AM

Just received this email:

I think the key lines are listed below. You can bring in aquarium species, but you cannot release them in the wild. In order for the rainbow darter to be considered an aquarium species in this case, you must buy it from a pet or ornamental trade business and keep the receipt with you while transporting. I’m not sure a bait dealer will count… You need to find a distributor of aquarium fish, etc… Just make sure it stays in the aquarium and doesn’t end up in Kentucky waters.

(1) Aquarium species except those in Section 3 of this administrative regulation may be imported, sold, or possessed in aquaria, but shall not be released directly or indirectly into the waters of this Commonwealth.

(3) "Aquarium species" means the species of fish that are legally sold in the pet and ornamental trade business and not stocked into waters of the Commonwealth.

He said darter but I think he meant shiner

Edited by NativeLover, 30 April 2013 - 11:36 AM.

#6 Guest_NativeLover_*

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 01:14 PM

Couldn't edit my last post. Jblaylock do you think you could ask someone with kdfwr or a game warden when you're at the convention? I'm sure its okay but this guy is telling me it isn't. I'm not trying to cause an issue, I'm just making sure I'm being legal is all. As far as tropicals you could transport them as you would be buying them from a store.

After reading the bait section you linked to, it says what is considered a minnow. Never mentions it has to be native. So it would almost seem the section I linked contradicts the bait section. Confusing...

Edited by NativeLover, 30 April 2013 - 01:25 PM.

#7 Guest_jblaylock_*

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 01:27 PM

I think you are missing the point. You are NOT keeping aquarium fish. You are holding bait. There is no regulation on how long and in what container you hold bait. It doesn't matter if you keep minnows for 4 hours in a minnow bucket or for 4 years in a stream tank in your home. You are keeping bait.

I'd love to discuss this with you and it may be best to take this off the forum. You can call me 606-273-0718.

#8 Guest_NativeLover_*

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 01:33 PM

Sorry wasn't trying to cause issues. The law doesn't say the bait has to be native so that may be ok. We could discuss it sometime if I ever go out collecting with you. Thanks for your patience with me. I only posted it on the forums so other kentuckians could also see.

Edited by NativeLover, 30 April 2013 - 01:34 PM.

#9 Guest_jblaylock_*

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 01:40 PM

I know, and there is a reason I'd like to discuss this off line. The LAST thing Kentuckians need is a blanket law like TN. The less we draw attention to keeping natives at home, the better. It is legal, you're not causing issues.

Let me just say, no offense to any game warden, but most if not almost all do not know the differences in fish. I have been stopped once on the Green River while seining. They didn't know any fish from the other. You can collect and keep KY natives that aren't protected that fall under the baitfish law. If you collect baitfish/non-game fish in another state, follow those laws in that state. You'll NEVER be stopped while transporting them in KY. Just don't ever release non natives into KY water and you'll be fine.

#10 Guest_NativeLover_*

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 03:44 PM

I request this thread be deleted. Thanks for the info jblaylock

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