Forms & Permits

Photo © Keith Anderson

Fish Importation Permit

A Fish Importation Permit is required for all live fish or fish eggs originating from sources outside the boundaries of the state of South Dakota before they can be brought into South Dakota.

Prior to requesting an import permit, the applicant must receive approval from the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission to possess non-native fish species for stocking in South Dakota waters. The request should be directed to the department's Fish Health Specialist at 605.394.1917 so that the Department can approve or disapprove the request. Once the Department approves the request to import a non-native fish species, the applicant can request an importation permit from the Fish Health Specialist.

All state, federal, and private hatchery facilities, private pond owners, resident anglers, non-resident anglers, and resident and non-resident bait dealers are required to obtain a fish importation permit from the department before obtaining fish or fish eggs from sources not in South Dakota.

GFP requires that all fish or eggs originating from sources not in South Dakota be free of regulated fish diseases at the time of importation. The originating source and facility that the fish are held at prior to importation into South Dakota must be inspected at least annually for regulated fish diseases. Information regarding fish health inspection requirements may be obtained form the department's Fish Health Specialist.


Prior to requesting an import permit, the applicant must receive approval from the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks Commission to possess non-native fish species for stocking in South Dakota waters. The request should be directed to the department's Fish Health Specialist at 605.394.1917 so that the Department can approve or disapprove the request. Once the Department approves the request to import a non-native fish species, the applicant can request an importation permit from the Fish Health Specialist.


Retail and personal aquaria hobbyist are not required to obtain a fish importation permit for ornamental fish species used in aquariums or private garden ponds. No person may possess, transport, sell or propagate a live fish species that is designated as aquatic invasive species in South Dakota. Administrative Rule 41:10:04:01. For more information contact the Aquatic Invasive Species coordinator at 605.223.7706.


A copy of the permit must be in possession when transporting live fish or included with the shipping container for eggs or live fish.