Part of Livestock

Fish culture licence

You may obtain a recreational or commercial fish culture licence for certain species in Alberta.


Recreational Fish Culture Licence

This licence allows the holder to keep cultured fish, as specified, in the water body named on the licence. The licence is intended for the recreational, non-commercial use of the applicant or community. Fish cannot be commercially sold under the authority of this licence.

Fees and application

Fees for a recreational fish culture licence are:

  • $100 for a 5-year period

The water body must:

  • be situated on privately owned land
  • be isolated from other water to the point that stocking fish will not adversely affect the environment or native fish; or
    • have fish barriers in place to prevent escapement of stocked species to natural water courses. Fish barriers may require inspection to ensure no fish are escaping into native waters.

When submitting an application, the applicant acknowledges that all required fish barriers must be in working condition for the licence to be maintained. Failure to do so may result in charges, the cancellation of current licences and denial of future licensing.

Any species listed on the Alberta Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) website or as prohibited species under the Fisheries (Alberta) Act  can not be stocked in private or public waters. Aquarium fish, including goldfish, should never be released into any waters. Fry from many of these species can escape through fish barriers and compete with or feed on native fish stocks. Fish from the pet trade can also bring diseases into the pond that can affect stocked fish. Any prohibited AIS listed in the Fisheries (Alberta) Act must be reported to Alberta’s Invasive Species Hotline at 1-855-336-BOAT (2628) if found.

For more information and to apply, see the following documents:

Commercial Fish Culture Licences

Commercial Fish Culture Licences are available to those who are interested in selling and holding cultured fish within Alberta. You must possess a commercial licence for fish to be held or harvested for a fee, or sold to the public. Commercial licences conditions are determined by the species they decide to raise and the intent of sale.

Fees and application

The fee for a 5-year commercial fish culture licence is $500; licence expires March 31 in the 5th year following the year of its issue. For more information and to apply, see:

For more information and to apply, see the following documents:

Licence details

Licensing time

First-time applications will usually be assessed within 30 days. All new recreational ponds with outflow to native trout waters and commercial facilities may require an on-site inspection to ensure all fish barriers and bio-security requirements are in place prior to the issuing of a licence. Time frames for processes that include an on-site inspection may vary considerably, depending on the nature of the application and the existing knowledge available to inform the assessment of associated risks. Unfavourable weather or poor field conditions may delay this process.

Other licences

In some instances, it will be necessary to obtain a licence to use and divert water under the Water Act. All applications under the Water Act can be submitted electronically through the online Digital Regulatory Assurance System (DRAS).

A person shall not import live fish or live fish eggs of a species specifically listed in Schedule 2 to the Ministerial Regulation unless that person has an aquatic species import licence that authorizes that importation.

Leased land

You can obtain a licence for a pond located on land that you lease if the land is privately owned and stocking permissions have been obtained from the landowner. Licences will not be issued for ponds located on public land.

Moving native fish

It is illegal to take, use or attempt to use live fish or fish eggs from public water for stocking a fish culture premises.

Jointly owned ponds

You can licence a pond that is jointly owned by you and your neighbour provided stocking permissions have been obtained from your neighbour.

Latitude and longitude help

Cultured fish species

Table 1 shows the species of cultured fish eligible under each licence. A licensing will not be issued for any species of fish not included in Table 1.

Goldfish and koi are considered cultured fish only if they are:

  • possessed at a location that is not within a person's principal residence
  • being kept for the purpose of selling wholesale

Table 1. Cultured Fish Eligible for Licensing

Category 1 SpeciesCategory 2 Species
Tilapia (contained waters only)
Rainbow trout
Brook trout
Brown trout
Tiger trout
Coho salmon
Freshwater prawn
American eel
Arctic char
Bigmouth buffalo fish
Pacific White Shrimp
Rainbow trout
Brook trout
Brown trout

For information on fish suppliers, see:


Connect with Aquaculture Licensing:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Email: [email protected]

Aquaculture Licensing
6th Floor, 9920 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5K 2M4

Connect with Environment and Protected Areas Outreach Services:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Toll free: 310-3773 (within Alberta)
Email: [email protected]