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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

17.4983 AQUATIC FARM OPERATIONS.
    Subdivision 1. Acquisition and sale of private aquatic life. Aquatic life legally possessed
may be bought, acquired, and sold by licensed facilities as provided in sections 17.4981 to
17.4997.
    Subd. 2. Acquisition from state. (a) The commissioner may sell aquatic life to licensed
facilities at fair wholesale market value. Fair wholesale market value must be determined by
the average market price charged in this state and contiguous states and provinces for similar
quantities.
(b) The commissioner shall establish procedures to make aquatic life available to licensed
facilities if state aquatic life would otherwise die or go to waste, such as in cases of winterkill
lakes, waters where piscicides will be applied, and waters subject to extreme draw-down. The
public must be given angling opportunities if public access is available.
(c) The commissioner shall attempt to provide opportunities to make brood stock available
to licensed facilities to reduce reliance on out-of-state sources without causing adverse impacts
to game fish populations.
(d) If the commissioner denies approval to obtain aquatic life outside the state, a written
notice must be submitted to the applicant stating the reasons for denial, and the commissioner
shall:
(1) designate approved sources if available to obtain the desired aquatic life; or
(2) sell the aquatic life from state hatcheries at fair wholesale market value if there is a
surplus from state operations.
    Subd. 3. Methods to harvest aquatic life. Licensed facilities may use all reasonable
methods to operate and harvest aquatic life from licensed facilities, including available nets.
    Subd. 4. Discharge may require permit. The discharge from an aquatic farm must comply
with discharge permits required by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
    Subd. 5. Ownership of aquatic life. (a) Notwithstanding other provisions of law, aquatic
life lawfully acquired and possessed by a licensed facility is private aquatic life and property of
the owner of the licensed facility.
(b) The state may not seize or otherwise confiscate private aquatic life without due process of
law, except that private aquatic life in public waters may become property of the state if the waters
are not part of a licensed facility. The commissioner shall notify the licensee that the aquatic life
in a facility that is no longer licensed will become property of the state if the aquatic life is not
removed. If the licensee does not respond in writing within 30 days after receiving the notice
and make alternative arrangements, or does not remove the aquatic life by 60 ice-free days after
receiving the notice, the private aquatic life becomes property of the state.
(c) Private aquatic life that is transferred to the state or released into public waters that are
not part of a licensed facility is owned by the state and may be considered wildlife.
    Subd. 6. Control of licensed waters. (a) If the public cannot legally access waters of the
state that are part of a licensed aquatic farm except by permission of the licensee, the use of the
waters by the public is subject to restriction by the licensee.
(b) Waters of the state may not be licensed for aquaculture use to more than one licensee.
    Subd. 7. Angling in licensed waters. A person may not take fish by angling from waters
subject to subdivision 6 unless the person has written permission from the licensee and:
(1) has an invoice when in possession of fish; or
(2) takes fish under an angling license, subject to the limits and conditions in the game and
fish laws.
    Subd. 8. Interference prohibited. A person may not knowingly damage, disturb, or interfere
with legal aquatic farm operations.
History: 1992 c 566 s 3; 1993 c 226 s 4; 1997 c 226 s 4