The intent of this list is to delineate species that pose minimal threat to Arkansas’ aquatic biota. These species may be freely imported into the state, and traded within the state, for aquaculture purposes. This does not approve the release of any species into the public waters of the state.
Procambarus acutus (White River crayfish)
Procambarus clarkii (Red Swamp crayfish)
*Macrobrachium rosenbergii (Malaysian prawn) – certified disease-free (certification must be posted onsite)
Polyodon spathula (Paddlefish)
Lepisosteus oculatus (Spotted gar)
Lepisosteus osseus (Longnose gar)
Lepisosteus platostomus (Shortnose gar)
Amia calva (Bowfin)
Anguilla rostrata (American eel)
Alosa chrysochloris (Skipjack herring)
Dorosoma cepedianum (Gizzard shad)
Dorosoma petenense (Threadfin shad)
* Oncorhynchus clarki (Cutthroat trout)
* Oncorhynchus mykiss (Rainbow trout)
* Salmo trutta (Brown trout)
* Salvelinus fontinalis (Brook trout)
* Salvelinus namaycush (Lake trout)
Esox americanus (Grass pickerel)
Esox niger (Chain pickerel)
* Carassius auratus (Goldfish, including ornamentals)
* Ctenopharyngodon idella (Grass carp)
* Mylopharyngodon piceus (Black carp) – Triploids only
Cyprinella venusta (Blacktail shiner)
* Cyprinus carpio (Common carp, including koi)
Hybognathus nuchalis (Mississippi silvery minnow)
Luxilus chrysocephalus (Striped shiner)
Lythrurus umbratilis (Redfin shiner)
Notemigonus crysoleucas (Golden shiner)
Notropis atherinoides (Emerald shiner)
Notropis boops (Bigeye shiner)
Notropis buchanani (Ghost shiner)
Notropis volucellus (Mimic shiner)
Opsopoeodus emiliae (Pugnose minnow)
Pimephales notatus (Bluntnose minnow)
Pimephales promelas (Fathead minnow)
Pimephales vigilax (Bullhead minnow)
Semotilus atromaculatus (Creek chub)
Erimyzon oblongus (Creek chubsucker)
Erimyzon sucetta (Lake chubsucker)
Hypentelium nigricans (Northern hogsucker)
Ictiobus bubalus (Smallmouth buffalo)
Ictiobus cyprinellus (Bigmouth buffalo)
Ictiobus niger (Black buffalo)
Minytrema melanops (Spotted sucker)
Moxostoma erythrurum (Golden redhorse)
Catostomus commersoni (White sucker)
Ictalurus furcatus (Blue catfish)
Ameiurus melas (Black bullhead)
Ameiurus natalis (Yellow bullhead)
Ameiurus nebulosus (Brown bullhead)
Ictalurus punctatus (Channel catfish)
Noturus gyrinus (Tadpole madtom)
Noturus nocturnus (Freckled madtom)
Pylodictis olivaris (Flathead catfish)
Aphredoderus sayanus (Pirate perch)
Fundulus notatus (Blackstripe topminnow)
Fundulus olivaceus (Blackspotted topminnow)
Gambusia affinis (Mosquitofish)
Labidesthes sicculus (Brook silverside)
Morone chrysops (White bass)
Morone mississippiensis (Yellow bass)
* Morone saxatilis (Striped bass)
Centrarchus macropterus (Flier)
Lepomis cyanellus (Green sunfish)
Lepomis gulosus (Warmouth)
Lepomis humilis (Orangespotted sunfish)
Lepomis macrochirus (Bluegill)
Lepomis marginatus (Dollar sunfish)
Lepomis megalotis (Longear sunfish)
Lepomis microlophus (Redear sunfish)
Lepomis punctatus (Spotted sunfish)
Micropterus dolomieui (Smallmouth bass)
Micropterus punctulatus (Spotted bass)
Micropterus salmoides (Largemouth bass)
Pomoxis annularis (White crappie) – less than6 inches
Pomoxis nigromaculatus (Black crappie)
Elassoma zonatum (Banded pygmy sunfish)
Percina caprodes (Logperch)
Stizostedion canadense (Sauger)
Stizostedion vitreum (Walleye)
Aplodinotus grunniens (Freshwater drum)
* Oreochromis aureus (Blue tilapia)
* Oreochromis mossambicus (Mozambique tilapia)
* Oreochromis niloticus (Nile tilapia)
Rana catesbeiana (Bullfrog)
Rana sphenocephala (Southern leopard frog)
Pygandon grandis (Giant Floater)
* Denotes nonnative species
VHS Fish Farm Health Inspection Permit:
It shall be unlawful for any person to import, transport or otherwise receive into the state of Arkansas live fish and/or fertilized eggs from any VHSV-positive state (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Ontario and Quebec) without first obtaining a valid Fish Farm Health Inspection Permit issued by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and complying with the provisions of said permit. All persons wishing to ship live fish or fish eggs into Arkansas from VHSV-positive states must first obtain the Fish Farm Health Inspection Permit and a copy of the permit must accompany all shipments into the state, even if the fish are transported by a third party. Furthermore, any person hauling live fish through Arkansas from VHS-positive states are prohibited from discharging water from fish-hauling tanks while within the state. All shipments of live fish or eggs coming into Arkansas must be accompanied by an invoice or bill of lading that clearly describes the origin(s) of all fish and/or eggs in the shipment. Additionally, the fish health inspection report must be no more than 60 days old from date of reported test results at time of application for Fish Farm Health Inspection Permit from Commission.
A Fish Farm Health Inspection Permit shall be an annual permit that is issued in 26-month intervals (refer to Addendum D1.01). The first interval will cover the period of January 1 -June 30, and the second interval will cover the period of July 1 -December 31. The second interval of the permit will be issued only after new semi-annual testing results are submitted to the Commission. For additional information, please refer to AddendaD1.01, I1.01, and Code 35.11.
It is our intent that production or sale of any hybrid is permissible if both parent species are included on the Approved Aquaculture Species List.
The harvest and sale of native Arkansas crayfish species that naturally colonize aquaculture ponds and are cultured incidental to production of other aquaculture species is allowed.
The harvest and sale of native Arkansas turtle species that naturally colonize aquaculture ponds and are cultured incidental to production of other aquaculture species is allowed, unless the species is protected by other codes. See Code Chapter 34.00.
It is not the intent of this policy to constrain aquarium trade. Marine and tropical aquatic species commonly distributed in the aquarium trade may be sold without special permit, as long as they are held only in closed aquarium systems and are not prohibited by other codes (e.g. Code 26.13).
Some species are well established in Arkansas aquaculture but under criticism at regional and/or national levels. While we do not currently restrict the trade in these species, persons possessing or desiring to possess these species are required to apply to AGFC for a Restricted Species Possession Permit. This permit will detail the location of their facilities, measures taken to eliminate the possibility of escape, and the numbers and species to be held (these numbers are best estimates and will only be updated when permit is renewed for the next year). The permitted culture of any restricted aquaculture species shall be conducted in a responsible manner that minimizes the possibility of escape. Permitted aquaculturists are required to construct a barrier that prevents escape of juvenile and adult fishes from culture ponds. Pond drainpipes should be double screened prior to any pond drainage with at least one screen being of a mesh size small enough to prevent the passage of any permitted fish present in the pond. These and any other measures listed on the application to eliminate the possibility of escape will be considered the “best management practices” that the applicant agrees to implement. AGFC will maintain records of the number and location of these species in the state, and determine if sufficient precautions are taken to prevent escape into the waters of the state. AGFC will review applications based on the best information available to evaluate the potential for escape. If this potential is acceptably low, AGFC will grant a no-cost special holding permit for these species, renewable annually. In the event that restricted aquatic organisms are released or escape from a permitted facility into waters of the state, the permitee shall notify the AGFC immediately. The permittee shall not be responsible for unforeseen occurrences such as floods, lightning or sabotage. Facilities with ponds prone to flooding shall limit culture of Restricted Species to areas least likely to become inundated. Holders of Restricted Species Possession Permits are expected to assure that buyers of these species in Arkansas also have an approved permit. Failure to comply with permit terms or inability to show adequate measures of escape prevention may result in permit denial or revocation.
The species covered by these permits include the following:
Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (Silver carp)
Hypophthalmichthys nobilis (Bighead carp)
Diploid Mylopharyngodon piceus (Black carp)
Scardinius erythrophthalmus (European rudd)
***NOTE*** The species listed below are listed as injurious species
Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (Silver carp)
Hypophthalmichthys nobilis (Bighead carp)
Mylopharyngodon piceus (Black carp)
The injurious wildlife listing means that under the Lacey Act it is illegal to import or to transport live silver, bighead, or black carp, including viable eggs or hybrids of the species, across state lines, except by permit for zoological, education, medical, or scientific purposes.
EXAMPLE 1: A producer maintains diploid black carp to produce triploid black carp for sale to catfish farmers to control snails in their ponds. The individual has previously applied for a Restricted Species Possession Permit for diploid black carp, documenting sufficient measures to prevent escape and been issued a no-cost permit. The individual may sell triploid black carp to his customers and may sell diploid black carp to other black carp producers after ensuring that they also have Restricted Species Possession Permits to possess diploid black carp.
EXAMPLE 2: A food fish producer purchases bighead carp, holds them in raceways for a few days, then ships them to an out-of-state fish market. The individual has previously applied for a Restricted Species Possession Permit for bighead carp, easily documenting sufficient measures to prevent escape (held in raceways with blocked egress) and been issued a no-cost permit. The individual is then able to purchase the fish, hold them, and ship them to other markets (assuming it is in compliance with regulations of the destination state).
The turtle species listed below are native to Arkansas and may be cultured by those who obtain a Commercial Turtle Dealer/Breeder Permit from the Commission and report production by species (Commission Chapter 34.00).
Chelydra serpentina (Common snapping turtle)
Chrysemys picta dorsalis (Southern painted turtle)
Graptemys geographica (Common map turtle)
Graptemys ouachitensis (Ouachita map turtle)
Graptemys pseudogeographica kohnii (Mississippi map turtle)
Pseudemys concinna (River cooter)
Trachemys scripta elegans (Redeared slider)
Kinosternon subrubrum hippocrepis (Mississippi mud turtle)
Sternotherus carinatus (Razorback musk turtle)
Sternotherus oderatus (Common musk turtle)
Apolone spinifera (Spiny softshell)
Trionyx muticus muticus (Midland smooth softshell)
Other Species Covered Under SeparatePermits:
The following species are governed by separate code and have their own permit requirements. This policy does not seek to add any further permitting requirements for these species.
Alligator mississippiensis (American alligator) – Federal Permit required
Macroclemys temminckii (Alligator snapping turtle) – AST Farmer/Dealer Permit required
Permits to Culture Unlisted Species:
Requests to import and culture species not listed in this policy will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The burden of proof will rest with the applicant to show measures are in place to prevent the possibility of escape will have no significant ecological impact (i.e. species cannot survive in waters of Arkansas due to temperature, salinity,or other environmental factor). The permitted culture of any unlisted aquaculture species shall be conducted in a responsible manner that excludes the possibility of escape from culture ponds. Permitted aquaculturists are required to construct a barrier that prevents escape of juvenile and adult fishes from culture facilities. The applicant will also need to provide justification as to the need to import the species into the state and why species listed in this policy will not fill the need. In the event that unlisted aquatic organisms are released or escape from a permitted facility into waters of the state, the permittee shall notify the AGFC immediately.
EXAMPLE 1: A producer in southern Arkansas wishes to raise yellow perch. This species is not native to Arkansas and has begun to show up in reservoirs in the north part of the state. Since the habitat in the producer’s area is hostile to yellow perch (water chemistry and summer temperatures), AGFC issues an Unlisted Aquaculture Species Permit.
EXAMPLE 2: A producer wants to grow Australian redclaw crayfish. This species is not native to Arkansas (or the U.S.) but is found in comparable latitudes in Australia. The producer’s plans are to raise them inside in heated raceways and have no discharge. This is found to eliminate the chance of escape and AGFC issues an Unlisted Aquaculture Species Permit.
Permit Processing Procedures:
Restricted Species Possession Permits and Unlisted Aquaculture Species Permits will be issued on an annual basis to correspond with expiration dates of Fish Farmer Permits. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is responsible for providing renewal notices to permit holders six weeks in advance of permit expiration date. Existing permits will remain in effect past listed expiration date if a renewal application is pending.
Restricted Species Possession Permits and Unlisted Aquaculture Species Permits are granted at the approval of the AGFC. The AGFC may solicit input as needed in the review of individual applications.
Modification of Lists:
Any individual may petition AGFC to add or remove species on the Approved Aquaculture Species List or the Restricted Aquaculture Species List. The petition must provide thorough documentation of why a species should or should not be included on a list. Petitions should address the biological threat of the species, including native range, habitats utilized, movement patterns, spawning requirements, reproductive rate, food habits, and temperature and water-quality limitations. They should include documentation of any introductions or escapes outside the species native range. They should also evaluate the potential impacts to native species through predation, competition, disease transmission, and displacement. Petitions should include copies of all pertinent reference material.
Petitions to add or remove species on the Approved Aquaculture Species List or the Restricted Aquaculture Species List will be responded to by the chief of fisheries after consultation with an advisory board representing: arkansas state aquaculture coordinator, Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center, Aquaculture/Fisheries Center at UAPB, U.S. Fish andWildlife Service, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission staff.