Don’t ditch a fish!

Illegal fish introductions are the largest threat to Utah’s fish populations and fishing heritage!

Know the law

  • Introducing fish — including aquarium species — into Utah waters is illegal.
  • Transporting live fish from one water to another is a violation of state law.
  • Releasing any species of fish into a Utah pond, stream or lake is against the law.
  • Fishing with live baitfish is illegal in Utah.

See the current Utah Fishing Guidebook for all fishing regulations.

The problem with transporting fish and ditching unwanted pets

  • Illegally introduced fish often outcompete desired species
  • Transferring fish can introduce disease and destroy fish populations
  • Illegally introduced fish can negatively alter water quality, irrigation, and water delivery systems
  • Fish introduced unlawfully often escape into streams and rivers, devastating native species
  • Usually chemical treatments are the only method for removing unwanted fish in a body of water involves killing all of the fish in a body of water
  • Chemical treatments to remove invasive fish are expensive and time consuming
  • Following a chemical treatment it takes years for a fishery to fully recover

Aquarium fish can ruin fisheries and result in expensive chemical treatments requiring hundreds of hours in planning, and years of restoration. Don’t ditch your pet fish!

Options for disposing of unwanted aquarium fish

  • Find a new owner to adopt the fish
  • Find a pet store willing to take the fish
  • Turn the fish in to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

 How can you help

Public awareness and assistance is critical in preventing the transport and release of live fish into ponds lakes and streams. So, what can you do?

  1. Don’t ditch a fish — whether it’s an unwanted pet or a fish from another Utah waterbody
  2. Dispose of aquarium fish properly (if you need help, call Steve at 435.673.3617)
  3. Report observations of invasive fish by calling Steve at 435.673.3617 or 1.800.662.3337
  4. Report observations of illegal introductions by calling Steve at 435.673.3617 or 1.800.662.3337