Aquaculture Council

News: Effective January 1, 2015, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has ruled that 1) No crayfish species shall be approved for open-system propagation and introduction into the waters of the Commonwealth. The culture and propagation of crayfish will still be permitted in closed systems, if the participant is registered for artificial propagation with the Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services 2) There is a restriction on the sale of all live native and non-native crayfish in this Commonwealth, except when they are sold for testing and scientific purposes, or restaurant consumption. The point of origin and destination must be documented with every delivery. It will be illegal to sell live crayfish in pet stores and bait shops 3) Licensed anglers may still harvest 50 crayfish/day. The crayfish head must be immediately removed behind the eyes upon capture unless the crayfish are used as bait in the waters from where they were taken. If an angler wishes to transport the crayfish from the waters from which they were collected, the angler must remove the head from behind the eyes.  


 To learn more about this rule, visit the PA Fish and Boat Commission website at or contact the Ms. Laurie Shepler, Esq. at the PA Fish and Boat Commission at (717) 705-7810.


If you have any questions concerning registration as an aquaculture propagator or dealer, please contact Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services, Nan Korn (717)-772-2852. 


In 2005, representatives of PennAg and the Pennsylvania Aquaculture Association (PAA) signed an agreement which created the PennAg Aquaculture Council. The PennAg Aquaculture Council has more than twenty members who represent a majority of the aquaculture production in Pennsylvania's nearly $9 million aquaculture industry.


Historically, the Pennsylvania aquaculture industry was regulated primarily by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. However, Act 1998-94 recognized aquaculture as a farming activity and transferred registration and regulation of aquaculture activities to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA), which remains the lead agency promoting and regulating the aquaculture industry. The PDA Aquaculture Production Development Program is located within the Bureau of Market Development. The program provides links to information regarding regulations affecting aquaculture, species production, research, sales and marketing. It provides many educational opportunities for aquaculturalists as well as guidance on business development, access to local sources for food fish, ornamental fish, sports fish and baitfish, and marketing initiatives designed to help fish farmers penetrate new markets and expand sales.


As Pennsylvania's aquaculture industry continues to develop, the need for research, education, outreach and compliance assistance with permits and license are the key areas of focus.

Pennsylvania is proud to rank fourth largest in trout production in the nation.

For additional information regarding the PennAg Aquaculture Council or aquaculture industry in Pennsylvania, please contact Colleen Hershey at or 717-651-5920.












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