My situation is that I live in Vermont -- a state where there's a list of only 10 or so allowed "baitfish", and no other fish may be collected and kept alive. The situation is even worse now with VHS:
Summary of Emergency Rules on baitfish (PDF): http://tinyurl.com/6lb3l2
Actual Emergency Rules on baitfish statute (this is VT -- they write our laws readable here): http://www.vtfishand...-2007-10-19.pdf
What this boils down to is that *all* collecting/transporting of live fish in Vermont is illegal. You can't even collect baitfish on the same body of water you intend to use them on -- you have to buy them from a dealer, and they issue a 48 hour possession permit. I'm wondering if this means that I won't even be able to poke around with a net this Spring/Summer without getting in trouble... This is all supposed to be temporary -- they put in emergency rules to give themselves time to figure out how VHS is going to play out, and to give time to re-write the pre-existing rules to take it into account. I love how this kind of thing happens only *after* a specific threat has been identified, but that's not the point of this thread.
Once this VHS thing sorts itself out, there's still almost no chance that I'll be allowed to collect and keep anything other than the specifically-identified "baitfish". I'd like to apply for a permit to be able to do more. My academic background is conservation biology, but I'm currently a web developer and this is *only* a hobby for me. Have others outside of the scientific community sucessfully applied for and obtained permits to collect and keep native fish as a hobby? I know the rules will vary dramatically by state, but I'm looking for general info here -- what worked for you, what didn't, how did you eventually persuade them to give you a permit (assuming anyone has ever actually gotten one). The only avenue that seems at all viable in VT is to get a baitfish dealer permit, but that still limits you to very specific species.
I often hear vague references to "getting a permit" on this Forum, but don't recall actually seeing specifics of how that has worked for someone outside of the profession and with no institutional connections. Do people *really* manage to get permits to do this just as a hobby?
Thanks in advance, Jase
Edited by jase, 05 April 2008 - 11:04 AM.