ARKANSAS AQUATIC WILDLIFE LAWS

AQUATIC WILDLIFE PETS

BANS native aquatic wildlife as pets, sale or purchase including offspring, and release except in same waters.


  • EXEMPT:
    • 6 per household of native fish, crayfish or snails (fish not limited to 6) that are wild-caught,
    • fish farms,
    • Scientific collection permit or another permit,
    • commercial fishing permits


BANS alligator snapping turtles, Ozark hellbenders, Ouachita streambed salamanders, troglodytic (cave-dwelling) species or those animals defined as state or federal threatened or endangered species. 


BANS silver, bighead and black carp. 


REQUIREMENTS:


  • Aquatic turtles and salamanders must comply with Chapter 09
  • Must be taken by hand or method listed under baitfish tackle
  • Game fish must be taken under fishing laws
  • Commercial fish must comply with commercial fishing laws


Law: Arkansas Game & Fish Code 26.26 & 26.30




BULLFROGS


BANS purchase and sale of bullfrogs.


  • EXEMPT: fish farmers with Bullfrog Permit


Bullfrog take is 18/day and 36 total and is limited to hand, hook and line, hand net, gig, spear, or archery tackle. 

Law: Arkansas Game & Fish Code 29




AQUATIC TURTLES

BANS nonresidents from harvesting aquatic turtles. 

BANS kill, take and possession of alligator snapping turtles.


  • EXEMPT: authorized display or educational purposes or relocation by fish farmers


BANS take of chicken turtles and razorback musk turtles from the wild.


  •  EXEMPT: those owned on 1/1/06 or progeny


BANS import of chicken turtles, razorback musk turtles and alligator snapping turtles. 

Residents need the following permits:


  • Resident Commercial Fishing Permit and Resident Fisheries Conservation License and Aquatic Turtle Harvest Permit (harvest and sell wild ones)
  • Aquatic Turtle Harvest Helper Permit (assist in helping harvest turtles)
  • Resident Commercial Fishing Permit and Resident Fisheries Conservation License and Aquatic Turtle Dealer (import native turtles for commercial propagation and sale or harvest, propagate, purchase, sell or export wild-caught ones)
  • Aquatic Turtle Farmer Permit (propagate, sell or export propagated aquatic turtles) - BANS purchase and sale of wild-caught ones
  • Alligator Snapping Turtle Breeder/Dealer Permit (possess, buy, or sell alligator snapping turtles or eggs)
  • Wildlife Importation Permit (import native aquatic turtles for commercial propagation or sale)


Addendum J1.02 Approved Species for Commercial Culture of Aquatic Turtles and Alligators.

Law: Arkansas Game & Fish Code 34




LIVE FISH TRADE


PERMIT required annually for fish farmers, distributors, wholesalers, pond consultants, aquaponics/hydroponics producers, or independent live haulers to possess, propagate or sell aquaculture species. 


  • Resident Fish Farmer Permit (possess, propagate, and raise farm-reared approved aquaculture species) – also allows sale, distribution, holding and transport in and into state from approved sources
  • Non-resident Fish Farm Permit (same as resident but for facilities outside AR)
  • Resident Fish Dealer/Independent Hauler (sell, distribute, hold and transport farm-reared approved species in or into state from approved fish farms)
  • Non-resident Fish Dealer/Independent Hauler (same as resident but for outside facilities)
  • Research/Educational/Exhibition/Government Fish Culture Facility Permit (research, educational, public aquaria, state and federal aquaculture facilities for research, exhibition or public stocking)


Addendum J1.01  Approved Commercial Aquaculture Species List


Addendum J1.03 Approved Stocking Species List for Privately Owned Lakes and Ponds (may be stocked without permit if farm-raised from fish dealer or farmer or hauler)


  • EXEMPT: retail bait dealers, commercial fishers, fishing guides for baitfish, shipment through, marine and tropical fish commonly in aquarium trade in closed systems, and common shipping carriers.


Law: Arkansas Game & Fish Code 35.01




CONDITIONAL/UNLISTED AQUACULTURE SPECIES


PERMIT required for fish farmers, fish dealers and independent live haulers to possess, transport, rear and sell aquaculture species not on approved list in Addendum J1.00 (Conditional Species Possession Permit and Unlisted Species Possession Permit issued).


  • EXEMPT: 1) propagation by resident fish farmers, state and federal culture facilities, and research/educational/public aquaria facilities with Conditional or Unlisted Species Permit, 2) sale of native crayfish colonizing in fish farm facilities, 3) common aquarium trade marine or tropical fish in closed systems, 4) fish farmers depredating and relocating aquatic turtles impacting their commercial fish production (sale requires Aquatic Turtle Harvest Permit or Aquatic Turtle Dealer Permit), 5) accidental inclusion of up to 5% native aquatic species in a legal shipment of live aquaculture. 


Addendum J1.01 lists species and requirements, and Addendums I1.00 and V1.00 list aquaculture species health requirements. 

Law: Arkansas Game & Fish Code 35.09



FISH FARM HEALTH INSPECTION PERMIT


Permit required to import fish from Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHSV)-positive state, which must accompany shipments. 


  • May not discharge water from fish-hauling tanks. 
  • Fish must have appropriate permits and paperwork. 
  • Import or transport from outside Arkansas requires Fish Health Disease-Free certification under the requirements of Addendum I1.00 except for channel and blue catfish and their hybrids as commercial foodfish imported from non-resident fish farms in MS, west of Interstate 55, and north of Interstate 20. 
  • A CVI may be used for educational displays if permanent captivity in closed system. 


BANS import of live wild-caught fish from outside AR except for threatened, endangered, or species of greatest conservation concern for conservation or research and for educational displays.

Law: Arkansas Game & Fish Code 35.11 to 35.13