Collection, importation and possession of fish, mollusks and crustaceans in Utah
What you need to do if you want to collect or possess some species of fish, mollusks and crustaceans in Utah.
Are you interested in collecting or possessing wild fish, mollusks and crustaceans? Starting in 2023, Utah has new rules that oversee the collection and possession of fish, mollusks and crustaceans.
Depending on the species you're interested in — and what you plan to do with them — you may need a special permit or document in order to collect or keep certain animals.
Here are the next steps:
- Find out if you need a certificate of registration
- Take the Utah CIP Rule Aquatics Education Course
- Obtain a certificate of registration
- See which species you can keep and how many you can keep
- Learn about prohibited species
- Collect fish, mollusks and crustaceans ethically and responsibly
- Complete the mandatory reporting requirement
Important: Once you remove any fish, mollusk or crustacean species from the wild — whether it's non-native or native — it may not be released back into the wild.
Things to keep in mind
These webpages are not a comprehensive guide to all of the relevant rules and regulations that oversee the take, possession and importation of fish, mollusks and crustaceans.
In addition to reviewing these pages and completing the online course, you should read the relevant administrative rules, including the rule for collection, importation, transportation, and possession.
Below are a few of the other things you should know before you collect or possess any fish, mollusks or crustaceans:
- Selling wild-caught fish, mollusks and crustaceans (whether alive or dead) is illegal.
- Collecting fish, mollusks and crustaceans is prohibited within national parks, federal and state wildlife refuges, and tribal lands.
- No permit is required to catch and harvest while fishing, provided all of Utah's fishing regulations are followed.
- It is illegal to collect, take or possess any species categorized as prohibited without a variance from the Utah Wildlife Board and a collection permit.
- If you possess a wild fish, mollusk or crustaceans certificate of registration, you must also complete the mandatory online reporting within 72 hours of taking any controlled or prohibited species from the wild. (See the list of controlled and prohibited fish, mollusks and crustaceans.)
- You must retake the online course annually if you intend to take fish, mollusks or crustaceans from the wild.
- The fish, mollusk and crustacean collection and possession certificate of registration is valid until the end of the calendar year that it was issued.
Know the rules
These online pages summarize some of Utah's fish, mollusk and crustacean collection and possession rules.
Under many of the headings on these pages, you'll see code references — such as Utah Code § 23-20-25 and Utah Administrative Rule R657-3 — that are linked to the detailed statute or rule that underpins the summary. If you have questions about a particular subject, take a minute to click the links and read the rules.
You are also welcome to call or visit the nearest DWR office if you have additional questions. For an in-depth look at all of Utah's wildlife laws and rules, visit the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Administrative Rules web page.
Who makes the rules?
The Utah Wildlife Board passes the rules and laws summarized in this guidebook.
There are seven board members, and each serves a six-year term. Appointed by the governor, board members are not DWR employees.
The DWR's director serves as the board's executive secretary but does not have a vote on wildlife policies.
Before board members make changes to wildlife rules, they listen to recommendations from DWR biologists. They also receive input from the public and various interest groups via the regional advisory council (RAC) process.
If you have feedback or suggestions for board members, you can find their contact information online.
Wildlife board members
- Randy Dearth — Chair
- Gary Nielson — Vice Chair
- Justin "J" Shirley — DWR Director & Executive Secretary
- Kent Johnson
- Paula Richmond
- Bret Selman
- Bryce Thurgood