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    Subdivision 1. License required. (a) A person or entity may not operate an aquatic farm
without first obtaining an aquatic farm license from the commissioner.
    (b) Applications for an aquatic farm license must be made on forms provided by the
    (c) Licenses are valid for five years and are transferable upon notification to the
    (d) The commissioner shall issue an aquatic farm license on payment of the required license
fee under section 17.4988.
    (e) A license issued by the commissioner is not a determination of private property rights,
but is only based on a determination that the licensee does not have a significant detrimental
impact on the public resource.
    (f) By January 15, 2008, the commissioner shall report to the senate and house of
representatives committees on natural resource policy and finance on policy recommendations
regarding aquaculture.
    Subd. 2. Listed waters. (a) An aquatic farm license must list:
(1) the specific waters of the state that may be used in connection with the licensed aquatic
farm and the species approved for each licensed water; and
(2) whether aeration requiring a permit is approved.
Additional waters may not be used until they are approved by the commissioner.
(b) The right to use waters licensed for private fish hatchery or aquatic farm purposes may be
transferred between licensees with prior approval by the commissioner if requirements for species
to be raised are met. Waters that are continually connected by a permanent watercourse to other
waters must not be approved for aquatic farm use, except that connected waters that are isolated
from other waters may be licensed as a single water body. Waters that are intermittently connected
or may become connected with other waters may be denied, or screening or other measures may
be required to prevent passage of aquatic life. Listed waters may be changed on approval by the
area fisheries supervisor or the commissioner.
(c) The commissioner shall conduct an inspection of waters to be licensed prior to approving
or denying initial licensing of the waters. When artificial tanks, jars, or other containers are added
to existing licensed facilities, an additional inspection is not required.
(d) Waters containing game fish of significant public value may be denied licensing unless
the applicant can demonstrate exclusive riparian control.
(e) Waters containing game fish of significant public value may be denied licensing unless
the game fish of significant public value are, at the commissioner's option, and taking into
consideration the recommendation of the licensed applicant, sold to the licensee, or removed by
the Department of Natural Resources or disposed of as provided in writing by the commissioner.
(f) Waters licensed under an aquatic farm license may be aerated during open water periods
without a separate aeration permit.
(g) Carp and bullheads may be removed from licensed waters, and transported and disposed
of by the licensee.
    Subd. 3. Listed species. (a) An aquatic farm license must list the species of aquatic life
appropriate for the classification of the waters. Listed species of aquatic life may be changed on
written request to and approval by the area fisheries supervisor. Species of aquatic life regulated
under chapter 97A, 97B, or 97C may not be cultured unless listed on the license.
(b) All waters licensed before July 1, 1992, under a private fish farm or fish hatchery license
must be approved for species listed under current licenses if other conditions for licensing are met.
(c) If licensed waters are located within a 25-year floodplain and are not enclosed within a
building, species of aquatic life may be licensed at the discretion of the commissioner.
(d) Licensed waters located outside of a 25-year floodplain or enclosed within a building
may be licensed for any species, except that the commissioner may deny licensing for species not
present in the state.
    Subd. 4. Single license for aquatic farming operation. The commissioner shall issue a
single license for aquatic farming, with the following information and endorsements:
(1) waters covered by the license;
(2) classification of each of the licensed waters;
(3) aeration endorsement for each licensed water where the licensee has exclusive control of
riparian access or where the conditions for an aeration permit have been met; and
(4) endorsements requested by the licensee.
    Subd. 5. State list of waters. If the state uses waters of the state for aquatic farming, the
state shall acquire legal access to the waters and make documentation of the access available to
the public.
    Subd. 6. Inspections and enforcement. (a) The premises, property, vehicles, private aquatic
life, and equipment where private aquatic farm operations are being conducted are subject to
reasonable and necessary inspections at reasonable times by conservation officers. The reason for
the inspection must be provided in writing. The owner, operator, or designee may be present when
inspections are conducted.
(b) Conservation officers may enforce sections 17.4981 to 17.4997 under section 97A.205.
    Subd. 7. Nonpublic records. (a) Licensees must keep complete, up-to-date, nonpublic
records of the operation of the aquatic farm. The records must remain available for at least three
(b) The records must be in English and include the following information:
(1) for each species acquired, the number or pounds of fish or eggs acquired, names and
addresses of the sources from which acquired, and the dates of receipt;
(2) for each species sold or disposed of, the number or pounds of fish sold or disposed
of, the names and addresses of the purchasers or persons to whom the conveyances are made,
and the dates of sale; and
(3) for fish sperm or viable eggs, the amount acquired or sold, the names and addresses of the
sources from which acquired, the purchasers to whom conveyed, and the dates of purchase or sale.
(c) On or before March 1 of each year, the licensee shall submit a complete annual report
on a form furnished by the commissioner, covering the number or pounds of all species sold
or purchased in the preceding licensed year.
(d) An aquatic farmer shall maintain records for reasonable inspection by the commissioner.
Information on aquatic life production, harvest, and sales is nonpublic information.
History: 1992 c 566 s 4; 1993 c 226 s 5; 1996 c 410 s 8,9; 2000 c 331 s 1-3; 2007 c 57
art 1 s 14

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes