The purpose of the Fish Transport Permit is to protect our native fish species and ensure that: (1) the live finfish being brought into Washington State are free from reportable fish pathogens; (2) that undesirable fish species if introduced into Washington State waters could cause harm to native species; and (3) that Aquatic Invasive Species do not get shipped with the desired fish species.
An approved Fish Transport Permit from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is required to transport fish into and through Washington State.
WDFW is trying to protect our native and important non-native fish species. Stocked fish species coming from commercial or wild sources may carry disease agents to waters that currently do not have them. By requiring a Fish Transport Permit, WDFW biologists are able to look at these possibilities and make determinations on the risk to native fish species.
Applications for a Fish Transport Permit may be downloaded in electronic format by clicking on the links at the top of this page. Applications may also be obtained at the WDFW Regional office in your area. There is no application fee. When your application is received, you may be contacted by a WDFW biologist requesting clarification or additional information.
To obtain a Fish Transport Permit mail the application to the address at the top of the form.
A Fish Transport Permit is different than a Fish Stocking Permit. If you are applying for a Fish Stocking Permit, you do not need to also apply for a Fish Transport Permit. A Fish Stocking Permit from WDFW is required for a private or commercial party to plant fish into ponds or lakes in Washington State. The Fish Transport Permit is usually only needed by the commercial aquaculture industry, public aquariums, fish researchers, and retailers who are transporting live fish products from one location to another. Aquarists and aquarium fish are exempt from this requirement.
It generally takes the department less than 30 days to issue an approved Fish Transport Permit. You can contact the WDFW Fish Health Unit at 360-902-2681 to inquire about the status of your application. Important things to note:
- Fill out your application completely.
- You must identify the source of the fish you wish to obtain before a permit can be issued.
- It is illegal to transfer fish without a permit issued by WDFW. It is also illegal to move fish to a pond or stream on your land, or between any other bodies of water.
- Fish Transport Permits are issued for specific dates and do not exceed one year.
- If you have additional questions on Fish Stocking Permits, WDFW Fish Health Unit at 360-902-2681.