Last week I sent in a stocking permit for my fish tank. The form is just a stocking permit it doesn't say anything that it is only for lakes or ponds. I figured I will fill it out and mail it in. I did not receive the greatest news, but it was not the worst. I posted my communications with my DEC regional fisheries manager.
I think it will be great for people who live in NY and anyone else who wants to help us out to write to the DEC. Let them know that you believe that there should be an exception for possession of fish out of season as long as it is kept in an aquarium. You can put in your letter how the keeping of native fish will reduce the chances of an non native species being released into the environment becoming invasive. You can also include the educational experience which comes from native fish keeping.
The DEC response to my stocking permit.
I am in receipt of your Fish Stocking Permit Application.
Firstly, Environmental Conservation Law section 11-0507.1 States: “Fish or fish eggs shall not be placed in any waters of the state unless a permit is first obtained from the department; but no permit shall be required to place fish or fish eggs in an aquarium.”
An indoor glass enclosure is an aquarium, so you do not need a stocking permit.
However, the department also regulates the possession of native fish species through our fishing regulations. Certain species such as bass (Micropterus spp.) and pickerel (Esox spp.) have closed seasons where their possession is prohibited. In addition the department closely regulates the sale and possession of black bass (Microperus spp.) for human consumption (private individuals are not permitted to possess or transport live black bass for consumption). Under these provisions, you cannot legally possess live black bass. So, even though you do not need a permit to stock your aquarium, you cannot legally possess fish species for which there is a closed season.
For fish species for which there is no closed season (Perca spp., Lepomis spp. and Amerius spp.), you can purchase them and stock them in your aquarium without a permit. I suggest that you keep a copy of the receipt from the hatchery to prove that you purchased them legally.
Be aware also that regardless of how you acquired the fish, they cannot be released into the wild in New York State. Once you are finished with them, they can only be transferred to another aquarium or destroyed.
I hope that you find this information helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
I responded to the DEC with these 2 emails.
Thank you for your response I appreciate it. I just wanted to make sure I did everything the legal and right way. I just have 1 question to ask. Can I get a stocking permit for my aquarium to keep species such as pickerel (Esox spp.) during their closed season?
Sorry to bother you again I have one more question in addition to the email I just sent you. Is the possession of a fish out of season only for wild caught fish or is it also for captive breed fish?Thank You
They responded back with this.
Here are the answers to your two questions:
Can I get a stocking permit for my aquarium to keep species such as pickerel (Esox spp.) during their closed season?
No, we do not issue permits to private individuals to keep fish out of season.
Is the possession of a fish out of season only for wild caught fish or is it also for captive breed fish?
Because we cannot tell whether a fish came from the wild or was captive bred once it is out of the hatchery, we treat them the same, a permit is needed to possess them out of season.
I suggest that you limit yourself to sunfish, perch and catfish.
Edited by Cu455, 28 April 2015 - 12:00 PM.