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Understanding Regulations and Requirements

Selling Fish

Game Fish

It is unlawful for any person to sell or purchase any game fish, except under the following conditions:

  • Game fish may be sold by commercial fish hatcheries, wholesale and retail fish dealers, and pond owners (see following paragraph) who conform to the Game and Fish Code.
  • Game fish from a pond may be sold when the owner of the pond has obtained a valid permit from the Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Section and the permit is displayed in a prominent place at the pond.  A permit will be issued only once annually and limits the time for taking fish from the pond to 15 days.  Permit applications require two weeks to process.  To transport game fish taken from the pond, the fish must be packaged and labeled with the permit number and the number and pounds of each species contained in the package. Fish must remain so packaged until processed for consumption or released into another pond.
  • Game fish shipped into Georgia may be lawfully transported, sold, and resold provided each person in possession of said game fish has an authentic bill of sale or lading which details the source of the fish and the species, number, and pounds of the fish.
Domestic Fish

Aquaculturists (fish farmers) must register with the Department of Natural Resources in order to sell domestic fish. Registration applications are available from any Fisheries Section office or by calling the DNR Special Permits Unit at 770-761-3044. Domestic fish are lawfully obtained farmed fish which are held in confinement in private ponds, but only if they are fish species which are either indigenous to Georgia or have been recognized prior to 1992 as having an established population in public waters in Georgia.  The White Perch is not recognized as a domestic fish.  Persons in possession of domestic fish from registered aquaculturists must have an authentic bill of sale or lading which identifies the seller, the date of transaction, and at least two of the following for each fish species: number, weight, or average length. A full description of Georgia's aquaculture permit and license requirements as well as other aquaculture information is available here

Commercial Fishing

American shad, hickory shad, channel catfish, and flathead catfish taken while commercial fishing may be sold as described in the Game and Fish Code.  A complete copy of the freshwater commercial fishing regulations can be obtained on the WRD web site or by contacting a Fisheries Section office.  Contact the Coastal Resources Division for saltwater commercial fishing regulations.

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