Fish, Amphibian, & Aquatic Plants Permits
Aquatic Resource Permits

An Aquatic Resource Permit (ARP) is required for any activity to collect fish, amphibian, shellfish, or marine aquatic plants that is not covered by current sport, personal use, aquatic farm, and commercial regulations. Additionally, an ARP is needed if one wishes to transport, import, export, or propagate fish. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) only issues ARPs to organizations and individuals engaged in legitimate scientific or educational, propagative, or exhibition activities, and who meet other requirements stated in the department's regulation. If issued an ARP, reports on the activities conducted under the permit are required.

Collection and/or Holding Activities

The department reviews and processes applications to collect fish, amphibians, shellfish, aquatic invertebrates or marine aquatic plant specimens at a specified location. The reasons for scientists or educators capturing and/or collecting fish are diverse. Most requests for scientific collection actions stem from a need to: (1) conduct impact analyses on proposed activities; (2) conduct invasive species monitoring; or (3) obtain data that will support legitimate academic inquires (research). Done properly, the capture, collection, and disposition of fish can provide considerable educational value, for example in field ecology studies, aquatic education/dissection programs, and preparing voucher specimens from a specific location.

ARPs will include details on the methods and means (i.e., gear) of capture, numbers of animals, locations, and seasons in which collection can occur. Permits will also address the final disposition of the animals captured. The disposition of the specimens can vary but generally specimens are either: 1) killed at the collection site; 2) caught, measured, sampled and released unharmed at the collection site, or 3) transported live to an aquarium in a secure facility with the specimens never being allowed to leave that site alive.

Specimens are only allowed to be transported live to an aquarium if research requires the keeping live specimens for some duration after capture or the exhibition of live specimens is necessary for educational purposes. The ARP will specifically address the live holding of fish and their allowed dispositions. Exportation of live specimens from Alaska requires that a copy of a valid importation permit issued by the appropriate resource agency of the importing state or country is submitted along with the application. The aquatic resource permit number must be displayed on each aquarium/holding tank that houses fish

Any species, or progeny of species, remaining alive at the end of the permit effective period will need to be held under a subsequent permit, if issued, or destroyed as directed. Plan accordingly and apply for a subsequent permit in a timely manner before the expiration of the current permit.

Application Forms

There is a blanket ARP that allows the general public to collect freshwater aquatic invertebrates (except freshwater snails, clams, or mussels) for scientific or educational purposes. Please note this permit is for freshwater collections only; any invertebrate collections from estuarine or marine waters requires an individual ARP to be issued. If freshwater mollusks are wished to be collected, an individual ARP must be applied for. If you are unsure if your proposed aquatic invertebrate collections will be covered under this permit, please contact the appropriate Permit Coordinator.

There is a blanket ARP that allows the general public to collect green crab carapaces for invasive species monitoring purposes. Any molts collected must be reported on the form attached to the permit below and the Invasive Species Coordinator contacted. Please note this permit is for molt collections only; any trapping or live collections from estuarine or marine waters requires an individual ARP to be issued. If additional monitoring efforts involving pots or traps are to be conducted, an individual ARP must be applied for. For more information about invasive green crab characteristics and monitoring efforts, please see our Invasive Species—European Green Crab page.

Application Review Period

The review period for each type of aquatic resource permit varies. Once a complete application packet is received, the Commissioner, or delegate, will approve, condition, or deny a permit application no later than 45 days.

Proposed activities requiring multiple supplements may require more time. However, the department's reviewers coordinate their reviews for complex projects. The more thorough and complete your permit application, the shorter the likely review time.

Any requests for changes or additions to an issued permit can be made to the appropriate Permit Coordinator. Amendments may go through the review process again so plan accordingly when making requests.