Legality of native tanks? - Carolina Fish Talk
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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Legality of native tanks?

I was planning on setting up a native 55 gallon tank here in NC and stocking it with a few bluegill, green sunfish, redbreast, and I contacted a local hatchery. I was informed that possession or transport of these "game" fish was illegal without a license from the state. I then contacted NC wildlife resources Commission over phone and was told very sternly that it would be highly illegal even if these "game" fish were obtained from reputable breeders. They seemed to believe that I'd already set up my tank even though I repeatedly told them that I was just doing some research on the topic before making any big decisions. Anyone have any experience with this topic? Is this just one of those unenforceable laws or are they going to start breaking down doors and doing house checks to make sure that you've killed and cooked what you brought home from the creek?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 03:28 PM
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I was planning on setting up a native 55 gallon tank here in NC and stocking it with a few bluegill, green sunfish, redbreast, and I contacted a local hatchery. I was informed that possession or transport of these "game" fish was illegal without a license from the state. I then contacted NC wildlife resources Commission over phone and was told very sternly that it would be highly illegal even if these "game" fish were obtained from reputable breeders. They seemed to believe that I'd already set up my tank even though I repeatedly told them that I was just doing some research on the topic before making any big decisions. Anyone have any experience with this topic? Is this just one of those unenforceable laws or are they going to start breaking down doors and doing house checks to make sure that you've killed and cooked what you brought home from the creek?
Retired State of NC LEO here...Years back I was doing a drug bust a home in Harnett County...NC Wildlife Officers also came by and arrested the subject for possession of some local species (not sure what though...sorry), and not local such as a Caiman in his bathtub, a building with snakes from around the world such as a Cobra and more. So, yes they do actually check if they catch wind of certain things.

I know that a past member here got busted for having some NC Coral...I was a super moderator here at the time and they contacted me saying they were monitoring him on the site because he was talking about his NC Local Coral...ugh

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 03:34 PM
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How do folks purchase fish to stock a pond etc? I live in VA so maybe it's different, but there are fish sellers at local stores pretty regularly selling bass, bluegill, catfish etc...

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 03:40 PM
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How do folks purchase fish to stock a pond etc? I live in VA so maybe it's different, but there are fish sellers at local stores pretty regularly selling bass, bluegill, catfish etc...

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Beats me, brother???????

It would be interesting to know...hope someone chimes in.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 05:50 PM
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"I was informed that possession or transport of these "game" fish was illegal without a license from the state. I then contacted NC wildlife resources Commission over phone and was told very sternly that it would be highly illegal even if these "game" fish were obtained from reputable breeders. "

That differs dramatically from what I was told years ago. It is certainly illegal to release any fish, game or otherwise, into public waters of the state. But it's legal, as I understand, to keep alive game fish caught on hook & line, and non-game fish caught by hook & line, traps, or nets, following all fishing license regs of course. You cannot sell them, but you can keep them for personal use (food, aquarium, or self-contained pond with no outlet to a stream). I've been leading native fish field trips for RAS and other clubs for many years, and this is what I was told by WRC staff years ago (most of whom have retired now). Have things changed in recent years?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GOSKN5 View Post
How do folks purchase fish to stock a pond etc? I live in VA so maybe it's different, but there are fish sellers at local stores pretty regularly selling bass, bluegill, catfish etc...

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It was explained to me that these are obtained from hatcheries that have acquired the needed licensing and must be released into a body of water such as a pond or lake
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 11:38 AM
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Yeah if I remember right you can keep freshwater local fishes as long as you have a valid NC License and follow these regulations:

http://www.ncwildlife.org/Portals/0/...ngame-Fish.pdf

http://www.ncwildlife.org/Portals/0/...-Game-Fish.pdf

The downside is you cannot ever release them or return them to the wild to prevent the risk of spreading cultured diseases back to the wild.

There are several species of killifish, pond fishes, and minnows that stay small and make cool inhabitants for a local aquarium. Just keep in mind that once you catch it and put it in a tank you're stuck with them.

Also for pond stocking and aquaculture purposes you used to need a survey and approval by both DNER and NC Wildlife to get permits to purchase, stock, sell, etc.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 07:26 AM
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In most states.. all you need is a fishing license to keep native fish. Sounds weird .. but I looked into it years ago.

You will find native tanks to be BORING


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 07:34 AM
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Legality of native tanks?

I found a pic that sort of looks like my old native tank (not my tank though)

Image Source: https://plecostomus.org/
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