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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

97C.211 PRIVATE FISH HATCHERIES.
    Subdivision 1. License required. A person may not operate a private fish hatchery without
a private fish hatchery license. A private fish hatchery is a facility for raising fish, including
minnows, for sale, stocking waters, angling, or processing. A private fish hatchery license is valid
for five years but must be renewed annually.
    Subd. 2. Rules for operation. The commissioner shall prescribe rules that allow a person
to maintain and operate a private fish hatchery to raise and dispose of fish. The commissioner
shall establish and assess a fee to cover the cost of inspection and disease certification of private
hatcheries.
    Subd. 2a. Acquisition of fish. (a) A private fish hatchery may not obtain fish outside of the
state unless the fish or the source of the fish are approved by the commissioner. The commissioner
may apply more stringent requirements to fish or a source of fish from outside the state than are
applied to fish and sources of fish from within the state. The commissioner must either approve
or deny the acquisition within 30 days after receiving a written request for approval. Minnows
acquired must be processed and not released into public waters, except as provided in section
97C.515, subdivision 4. A request may be for annual acquisition.
(b) If the commissioner denies approval, a written notice must be submitted to the applicant
stating the reasons for the denial and the commissioner must:
(1) designate approved sources to obtain the desired fish or fish eggs; or
(2) sell the fish or fish eggs from state fish hatcheries at fair market value.
    Subd. 3. Fishing license not required for persons to take fish. A person may take fish by
angling without a fishing license at a licensed private fish hatchery or an artificial pool containing
only fish purchased from a private fish hatchery, if the operator of the hatchery or pool furnishes
each person catching fish a certificate prescribed by the commissioner. The certificate must
state the number and species of the fish caught and other information as prescribed by the
commissioner. A person without a fishing license may possess, ship, and transport within the state
the fish caught in the same manner as fish taken by a resident with a fishing license.
    Subd. 4. License required to take sucker eggs. A person may not take sucker eggs from
public waters for a private fish hatchery without a license to do so.
    Subd. 5. Price of walleye fry. The commissioner may not sell walleye fry for less than fair
market value, defined as the average price charged by private walleye fry wholesalers located in
Minnesota.
    Subd. 6. Nonpublic records. Information on production, harvest, and sales of aquatic life by
a private fish hatchery is nonpublic information.
History: 1986 c 386 art 3 s 20; 1987 c 318 s 5-7; 1987 c 404 s 134; 1988 c 588 s 11,12;
1997 c 226 s 37,38