Private fish pond permits

A guide to regulations and management for Utah landowners

A private fish pond includes any pond, reservoir or other body of water or a fish culture system that is on private land and is used to hold or rear fish for a private, noncommercial purpose.

Why are private fish ponds regulated?

Private fish ponds have been popular for decades. They provide fishing fun for kids and allow pond owners to create and manage their own personal fisheries.

Fish pond

Getty Images

Fish pond

Getty Images

Without regulation, however, these ponds could seriously harm wild fish populations in nearby rivers, streams and lakes. Private ponds can easily introduce nonnative species and devastating diseases to drainages. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources works with landowners to ensure that private pond stocking does not harm public fisheries.

You may also read the DWR's administrative rule governing private fish ponds in Utah.

What are the requirements?

A landowner can have a private fish pond if he or she meets the following basic requirements:

  • Ensures the aquaculture product is delivered to the pond by a licensed aquaculture facility.
  • Accepts only the exact species (including strain and reproductive ability) authorized for stocking in the pond.
  • All private pond owners possessing a current Certificate of Registration (COR) within the guidelines of the previous private pond rule may operate within the stipulations of that COR until it naturally expires.
Private fish pond application

Download an application form to apply for a private fish pond Certificate of Registration (COR). (PDF)

Where can I get fish for my pond?

You can purchase fish at one of several commercial fish hatcheries located in Utah and adjacent states. The hatcheries must be approved, disease-free facilities and must be licensed by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF). For more information on commercial fish growers that meet these criteria, contact the UDAF at 801-538-7029 or download the list of approved Utah fish growers, out-of-state growers and Utah brokers. (PDF)

Is there a list of approved Utah fish growers, out-of-state growers and Utah brokers?

Yes, you can download the list of approved Utah fish growers, out-of-state growers and Utah brokers. You must use the approved fish growers from the list to receive live aquaculture products in Utah. The approved fish grower will deliver directly to the site of the private pond. Note: If you need to use a broker or another delivery option, then you may need an import permit certificate of registration for private pond owners. For more information, call the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources at 801-538-4701. If you have any questions, contact the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food at 801-538-7046.

For more information, contact the nearest DWR regional office and ask for the regional aquatics manager.

Common pond management questions
What kind of fish should I stock?
What are sterile fish?
How do I build and manage a pond?

Certificates of Registration
Is a Certificate of Registration (COR) required if I want to stock fish in my private pond?
Private ponds with non-salmonid species
Do you plan to stock your private pond with a non-salmonid species?
Private ponds with salmonid species
Sterile salmonids
If I plan to stock sterile salmonid species in my private pond, will I need a COR?
Fertile salmonids
Can I stock fertile salmonids in my private pond?

If I plan to stock fertile salmonid species in my private pond, will I need a COR?

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