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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

17.4985 TRANSPORTATION OF AQUATIC LIFE.
    Subdivision 1. Requirements for importation, transportation within the state, or
stocking of fish. Except as provided in subdivision 3, a licensee may not import aquatic life into
the state, transport aquatic life within the state, or stock waters of the state with aquatic life
without first obtaining a bill of lading or transportation permit from the commissioner, with
disease certification, if applicable.
    Subd. 2. Bill of lading. (a) A state-issued bill of lading is required for:
(1) intrastate transportation of aquatic life other than salmonids and catfish between licensed
private fish hatcheries, aquatic farms, or aquarium facilities licensed for the species being
transported if the aquatic life is being transported into a watershed where it is not currently
present, if walleyes whose original source is south of marked State Highway 210 are being
transported to a facility north of marked State Highway 210, or if the original source of the aquatic
life is outside Minnesota and contiguous states; and
(2) stocking of waters other than public waters with aquatic life other than salmonids and
catfish.
(b) When aquatic life is transported under paragraph (a), a copy of the bill of lading must be
submitted to the regional fisheries manager at least 72 hours before the transportation.
(c) For transportation and stocking of waters that are not public waters:
(1) a bill of lading must be submitted to the regional fisheries manager 72 hours before
transporting fish for stocking;
(2) a bill of lading must be submitted to the regional fisheries manager within five days after
stocking if the waters to be stocked are confirmed by telecopy or telephone prior to stocking by
the regional fisheries office not to be public waters; or
(3) a completed bill of lading may be submitted to the regional fisheries office by telecopy
prior to transporting fish for stocking. Confirmation that the waters to be stocked are not public
waters may be made by returning the bill of lading by telecopy or in writing, in which cases
additional copies need not be submitted to the Department of Natural Resources.
(d) Bill of lading forms may only be issued by the Department of Natural Resources in St.
Paul, and new bill of lading forms may not be issued until all previously issued forms have
been returned.
    Subd. 3. Exemptions for transportation permits and bills of lading. (a) A state-issued
bill of lading or transportation permit is not required by an aquatic farm licensee for importation,
transportation, or export for the following:
(1) minnows taken under an aquatic farm license in this state and transported intrastate;
(2) aquarium or ornamental fish including goldfish and tropical, subtropical, and saltwater
species that cannot survive in the waters of the state, which may be imported or transported if
accompanied by shipping documents;
(3) fish or fish eggs that have been processed for use as food, bait, or other purposes
unrelated to fish propagation;
(4) live fish from a licensed aquatic farm, which may be transported directly to an outlet for
processing or for other food purposes if accompanied by shipping documents;
(5) fish being exported if accompanied by shipping documents;
(6) sucker eggs, sucker fry, or fathead minnows transported intrastate for bait propagation
or feeding of cultural aquatic life;
(7) species of fish that are found within the state used in connection with public shows,
exhibits, demonstrations, or fishing pools for periods not exceeding 14 days;
(8) fish being transported through the state if accompanied by shipping documents; or
(9) intrastate transportation of aquatic life between or within licensed private fish hatcheries,
aquatic farms, or aquarium facilities licensed for the species being transported, except where
required in subdivision 2 and except that salmonids and catfish may only be transferred or
transported intrastate without a transportation permit if they had no record of bacterial kidney
disease at the time they were imported into the state and if they have had a fish health inspection
within the preceding year that has shown no certifiable diseases to be present.
Aquatic life being transferred between licensed private fish hatcheries, aquatic farms, or
aquarium facilities must be accompanied by shipping documents and salmonids and catfish being
transferred or transported intrastate without a transportation permit must be accompanied by a
copy of their most recent fish health inspection.
(b) Shipping documents required under paragraph (a) must show the place of origin, owner
or consignee, destination, number, and species.
    Subd. 4. Transportation permit requirements. A transportation permit is required for all
importation, transportation, or stocking of private aquatic life not covered by subdivision 2 or
exempted in subdivision 3. A transportation permit may be used for multiple shipments within
the 30-day term for the permit if the source and the destination remains the same. Transportation
permits, which may authorize importation or stocking of public waters, may be issued through
Department of Natural Resources regional offices or the St. Paul office, and must be obtained
prior to shipment.
    Subd. 5. Permit application. An application for a transportation permit must be made on
forms provided by the commissioner. An incomplete application must be rejected. An application
for a transportation permit for salmonids and catfish, their eggs, or sperm must be accompanied by
certification that the source of the eggs or sperm are free of certifiable diseases, except that eggs
with enteric redmouth, whirling disease, or furunculosis may be imported, transported, or stocked
following treatment approved by the commissioner, and fish with bacterial kidney disease may be
imported, transported, or stocked into areas where the disease has been previously introduced. A
copy of the transportation permit showing the date of certification inspection must accompany the
shipment of fish while in transit and must be available for inspection by the commissioner. By
14 days after a completed application is received, the commissioner must approve or deny the
importation permits as provided in this section.
    Subd. 6. Vehicle identification. (a) A vehicle used by a licensee for transporting aquatic life
must be identified with the licensee's name and town of residence as it appears on the license and
the license number.
(b) A vehicle used by a licensee must have identification displayed so that it is readily
visible from either side of the vehicle in letters and numbers not less than 2-1/2 inches high and
with a three-eighths inch wide stroke. Identification may be permanently affixed to vehicles or
displayed on removable plates or placards placed on opposite doors of the vehicle or on the
tanks carried on the vehicle.
(c) An application to license a vehicle for minnow transport or export or for use as a fish
vendor that is received by the commissioner is a temporary license until it is approved or denied.
History: 1992 c 566 s 5; 1993 c 226 s 6,7; 1996 c 410 s 10,11