Fisheries Branch Research Permitting

What type of research permit do I need?

Research permits, such as Scientific Collecting Permits (SCP), Memoranda of Understanding (MOU), and federal authorizations (ESA 4(d) and 10(a)(1)(A), may be required to carry out scientific, education, propagation, and management activities in which "take" is expected to occur.


Definition of Take

State (Fish and Game Code § 86):
"Take" means hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill, or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill.

If my research target species or incidental take (by-catch) species are…

Chinook Salmon, CDFW photo by M. Elyash
Chinook Salmon, CDFW photo by M. Elyash
Not Listed
Steelhead, CDFW Photo by A. Hughan
Steelhead, CDFW Photo by A. Hughan
Federally Listed
SCP
&
10(a)(1)(A) or 4(d)
Longfin Smelt © R. Reyes, all rights reserved
Longfin Smelt © R. Reyes, all rights reserved
State Listed (CESA) or Fully Protected (FP)
Junenile Coho Salmon by Derek Acomb
Coho Salmon, CDFW photo by D. Acomb
State Listed (CESA) or Fully Protected (FP)
& Federally Listed
CESA or FP MOU
&
10(a)(1)(A) or 4(d)

* To apply for Federal ESA section 10(a)(1)(A) authorizations please contact link opens in new windowNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Pacific marine and anadromous fish) or link opens in new windowUS Fish and Wildlife Service (all other fisheries species)
- A list of species under NOAA's jurisdiction can be found at link opens in new windowNOAA Endangered and Threatened Marine Species.

Who needs to be permitted?

Individuals Working Independently
Individuals working independently (without direct on-site supervision) must be named on all state and federal research permits needed to take both the target and by-catch species associated with the requested take activities.

Individuals Working Under Direct Supervision
Individuals working under the direct on-site supervision of the individuals described above do not need to be named on the permits.

Scientific Collecting Permits (SCP)

Scientific Collecting Permits

  • Title 14 § 650 / Fish & Game Code § 1002

SCPs allow take for…

Purpose
Definition
Science
Basic research, or applied research, the results of which achieve either, or both of the following:
  1. Contribute to the knowledge of wildlife biology, and/or related biological, ecological, or environmental fields;
  2. Provide research and/or management data important or necessary to promote the protection, conservation, or management of natural resources of this State.
 
Education
Formal academic instruction, informal interpretive programs, cultural or ceremonial activities, or other educational programs which includes, but is not limited to:
  1. Instruction on the conservation, biology, or ecology of the State's natural resources
  2. Interpretation of the State's natural history, including its wildlife, and their communities;
  3. Training in methods or techniques that result in the take and/or possession of wildlife in the field or laboratory;
  4. Other activities that are part of a college level course in wildlife biology, fisheries biology, or general biology and ecology.
Propagation
Captive breeding, captive rearing, and other activities that help sustain or increase wildlife populations for scientific, conservation, management, or educational purposes such as:
  1. Captive breeding, captive rearing, and other actions that may not involve captivity to promote successful reproduction as part of a department- approved recovery or conservation concern, or for scientific research purposes;
  2. Possessing wildlife in captivity for scientific research or monitoring, or to gain knowledge of techniques for reproduction, or for use in educational programs
  3. Removal of non-native, invasive, or detrimental wildlife to improve or restore ecosystem or habitat conditions, or otherwise enhance the sustainability of native wildlife or other species
  4. Management responses necessary to prevent catastrophic wildlife population losses from drought, mudslides, wildfires, disease outbreaks, and other natural or man-made disasters, or to capture, temporarily possess, and relocate wildlife to avoid harm or mortality in connection with otherwise lawful activities.

Which species can I take with an SCP?

Animals that are not listed as Endangered, Threatened, or Candidate under the California Endangered Species Act.

* May include federally listed species


SCP Fee Schedule

CDFW Shield Logo*All fees processes through:
CDFW License & Revenue Branch (LRB)
1740 N. Market Blvd.,
Sacramento, CA 95834
(916) 928-5849

For Information on Scientific Collecting Permit Fees please contact the CDFW License and Revenue Branch or visit the Scientific Collecting Permits webpage


Applying for an SCP

On May 1, 2018, the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the regulatory changes affecting Scientific Collecting Permits (SCPs)(OAL regulatory file 2018-0320-05S). The regulatory changes and the link opens in new windowScientific Collecting Permit Portal (SCPP) became effective October 1, 2018. SCP applications are filled out in the in the SCPP.

*SCP application should be submitted 100 days prior to the requested start date*

Before you apply...

Create an SCPP login ID

To gain access to the SCPP follow the link opens in new windowinstructions (PDF) to create an SCPP login ID

Once you have an SCPP login ID, create a profile within the SCPP

  • Before creating a profile you will need to understand the role of each individual in the SCPP (See SCPP Roles below)
  • Each individual that will be named on the permit will need their own login ID and profile.
  • Please do not create login IDs and profiles for other users.
  • link opens in new windowDetailed instructions for creating a profile can be found in the SCPP*
Determine which type of SCP you will need
  • Use the link opens in new windowSCP Pre-Application Guide (PDF) in the SCPP to determine they type and number of permits you will need.
  • Review the link opens in new windowGeneral Use Authorizations prior to applying. These are predetermined standardized authorizations. If your work will be outside of the scope of these authorizations you will not be issued a General Use permit and will need to apply for a Specific Use Permit. The link opens in new windowGeneral Use Authorizations (PDF) can be also be viewed prior to gaining access to the SCPP.

SCPP Roles

Individual & Entity Permitholder Types

* Every User will need to create their own Login ID and their own Profile using an email address they prefer to use in the long term. The User's Login ID and Profile are tied to the email address used to create them, therefore no User should create a Login ID or Profile for anyone else.

User = any individual who will access the SCPP, and/or request to be named on a pemit (i.e., Executive Signatory, Entity Administrators, Principal Investigators, and Authorized Individuals)

Login ID = grants a User access to the SCPP (requires email address, identity verification, and password creation)

Profile = stores a User's personal data for permit applications (i.e., address, phone number, affiliation, and qualifications information)

Individual Permitholder
Role Attributes
Individual = PI
  • User is the Permitholder & Principal Investigator (PI; owns the permit)
  • Has edit rights to the application(s)
Authorized Individuals (AIs)
  • Can work independently in the field
  • Must be named in the application, and thus the permit
  • Does not have edit rights to the application(s)
Field Assistants
  • Can only work under direct supervision of the PI or an AI
  • Does not need to be named on the permit
  • Does not have edit rights to the application(s)
Entity Permitholder
Role Attributes
Entity
  • Organization, Institution, Agency, Native American tribe, or other
Executive Signatory* User who creates the entity profile (cannot be changed)
  • Has authority to act on behalf of the entity
  • Has a stable long term postion with the entity
  • Designates Entity Administrator(s) and PI within the SCPP
  • Has edit right to the entity's application(s)
Entity Administrator** User is assigned by Executive Signatory
  • Can apply for entity permits for the entity (has edit rights)
  • More than one Entity Administrator can be assigned for the entity
PI User is assigned by Executive Signatory or Entity Administrator
  • Oversees activities in the field
  • Does not have edit rights to the entity's application(s)
AIs
  • Can work independently in the field
  • Must be named in the application, and thus the permit
  • Does not have edit rights to the entity's application(s)
Field Assistants
  • Can only work under direct supervision of the PI or an AI
  • Does not need to be named on the permit
  • Does not have edit rights to the entity's application(s)

* The Executive Signatory may also be the PI.

** Executive Signatory assigns Entity Administrators from within the SCPP when creating the entity's profile. An Entity Administrator can also be assigned as the PI.


SCP Contact Information

Leslie Alber
Fisheries Branch
Leslie.Alber@wildlife.ca.gov
(916) 323-9583

CESA Memorandums of Understanding (MOU)

California Endangered Species Act (CESA) MOUs

  • Fish & Game Code § 2081(a)

CESA MOUs allow take for...

Purpose
Science
Education
Management
  • by individuals, public agencies, universities, zoological gardens, & scientific or educational institutions

Which species can I take with a CESA MOU?

Animals listed as Endangered, Threatened, or Candidate under the California Endangered Species Act

* Refer to the link will open in new windowEndangered and Threatened Animals List and the link will open in new windowSpecial Animals List for CESA and other listing status


CESA MOU Contact Information

Leslie Alber
Fisheries Branch
Leslie.Alber@wildlife.ca.gov
(916) 323-9583

* Additional information on CESA can be found on the CDFW California Endangered Species Act (CESA) web page. 

Fully Protected Species Memorandums of Understanding (MOU)

California Fully Protected (FP) MOUs

  • Fish & Game Code § 5515

FP MOUs allow take for...

Purpose
Scientific Research

including efforts to recover fully protected, threatened or endangered species


Which species can I take with a FP MOU?

Animals listed as fully protected under Fish and Game Code § 5515(b)
Colorado River squawfish Thicktail chub1 Mohave chub Lost River sucker Modoc sucker
Shortnose sucker Humpback sucker Owens pupfish Unarmored threespine stickleback Rough sculpin

1Presumed to be extirpated


FP MOU Public Information Notice (PIN)

* Required prior to authorization of any Fully Protected species MOU


FP MOU Contact Information

Leslie Alber
Fisheries Branch
Leslie.Alber@wildlife.ca.gov
(916) 323-9583

* Additional information on Fully Protected Species can be found on the CDFW Fully Protected Animals web page.

Endangered Species Act (ESA) 4(d) Authorizations

NOAA logo    CDFW logo
Cooperative Program between NMFS and CDFW

(Results in an annual federal authorization administered through a state program)

4(d) Authorizations allow take for...

Purpose
Scientific Research
Threatened species by approval through Final 4(d) Rules in a program that provides limits on take prohibitions in section 9(a)(1) of the ESA

What species can I take with a 4(d) Authorization?

These Federally Threatened species:

  • Chinook salmon
  • Coho salmon
  • Steelhead
  • Green Sturgeon

Applying for a 4(d) Authorization

Applications can be completed on link opens in new windowNOAA's Authorizations and Permits for Protected Species (APPS) website annually. Applications can be drafted prior to submission in APPS, but can only be submitted during the application submission window. Upon approval 4(d) authorizations are valid for one calendar year (January - December).

The application submission window for the 2020 4(d) Program will be open September 1 through September 15, 2019. 

4(d) Authorization Contacts

Carmen Tull
CDFW Fisheries Branch
Carmen.Tull@wildlife.ca.gov
(916) 323-9583
Gary Rule
NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region
gary.rule@noaa.gov
(503) 230-5424

What other permit(s) might I need?

  • Importation Permit - State law requires an Importation Permit to import most live aquatic plants and animals.
  • Private Stocking Permit - State law requires a permit for private transportation and stocking of live aquatic plants and animals (includes imported and reared in CA) in many waters of the State.
  • Hatchery Fish or Egg Requests - required for use of hatchery trout, anadromous, or inland fish or fish eggs for research or educational purposes.
  • Incidental Take Permit (ITP) - authorizes take (Fish & Game Code §86) of CESA listed species during construction, utility, transportation, and other infrastructure-related projects. More information can be found at Habitat Conservation CESA.
  • Wildlife Species Permit - Take (Fish & Game Code §86) of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and terrestrial and vernal pool invertebrates is authorized through the CDFW Wildlife Branch. More information can be found at Wildlife Branch - Nongame Wildlife Program.

Freshwater Importation Permits

  • Title 14 § 236(c)

An Importation Permit is required to import most live aquatic plants and animals:

Standard Importation Permit
Importing one shipment from one supplier
One time use
Long-term Importation Permit
Valid for mulitple shipments from one supplier under the same conditions where the risk of introducing diseases, parasites, or undesirable species with the imported animals is very low
One year

Fee Schedule

Importation Type Cost
Standard $49.25
Long-Term $59.25

Applying for an Importation Permit

The Standard or Long-Term Importation Permit application (Form DFW 789), and information leaflet (Leaflet No. 36), can be found on the CDFW Aquaculture web page under Regulations, Guidelines and Permit Applications.

Completed applications can be mailed to:

Importation Permit Program
CDFW Fisheries Branch
830 S Street
Sacramento, Ca 95811

* Complete applications & fees must reach Fisheries Branch at least 10 business days prior to shipment


Freshwater Importation Permit Contact

Karen Mitchell
Fisheries Branch
Karen.Mitchell@wildlife.ca.gov
(916) 445-0826

Private Stocking Permits

  • Title 14 § 238.5, Fish & Game Code § 6400 and 6401

A Private Stocking Permit is required for:

Private transportation and stocking of live aquatic plants and animals in many waters of the State.


Where do I get fish?

Fish for private stocking may be purchased from a registered agriculturist.

* You may not lawfully stock your pond with fish taken under the provisions of a sport fishing license.


Species and Areas that do not require a Private Stocking Permit

* the following species may be stocked in private ponds and the following permissible areas without a Private Stocking Permit.

Species
White Catfish Channel Catfish Blue Catfish Largemouth Bass
Bluegill Sacramento Perch Rainbow Trout Redear Sunfish

Permissible counties or portion of counties
Alameda Amador1 Butte Calaveras
Colusa Contra Costa El Dorado Fresno2
Glenn Imperial Kern3 Kings
Lake4 Los Angeles Madera2 Mariposa
Merced Napa Nevada1 Orange
Placer1 Riverside Sacramento San Benito
San Bernardino San Diego San Joaquin Santa Barbara
Solano Stanislaus Sutter Tehama
Tulare2 Tuolumne Ventura Yolo
Yuba
1West of Highway 49
2West of the national park and national forest boundaries
3Except in the Kern River drainage above Democrat Dam
4Except in the Eel River drainage

Fee Schedule

Permit Type Cost
Private Stocking Permit  
$61.03


Applying for a Private Stocking Permit

The Private Stocking Permit application (Form DFW 749) and information leaflet (Leaflet No. 6) can be found on the CDFW Aquaculture web page under Regulations, Guidelines and Permit Applications. 

Completed applications and appropriate fees can be submitted to the appropriate regional office based on stocking location:

Region Counties
Northern Region (1)
601 Locust Street
Redding, Ca 96001
(530) 225-2300
Del Norte, Humboldt, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehema, and Trinity
North Central Region (2)
1701 Nimbus Road
Rancho Cordova, Ca 95670
(916) 358-2900
Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lake, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sierra, Sutter, Yuba, Sacramento1, San Joaquin2, and Yolo2

1Portions within the North Central Region

2North of I-80 and West of I-5
Bay-Delta Region (3)
7329 Silverado Road
Napa, Ca 94558
(707) 944-5500
Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Solano, Sonoma, Sacramento1, San Joaquin2, and Yolo2

1Portions within the Bay-Delta Region

2South of I-80 and West of I-5
Central Region (4)
1234 East Shaw Avenue
Fresno, Ca 93710
(559) 243-4005
Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Monterey, Merced, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Stanislaus, Tulare, and Tuolumne
South Coast Region (5)
3883 Ruffin Road
San Diego, Ca 92123
(858) 467-4201
Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura
Inland Deserts Region (6)
3602 Inland Empire Boulevard
Suite C-220, Ontario, Ca 91764
(909) 484-0167
Imperial, Inyo, Mono, Riverside, and San Bernardino

Private Stocking Permit Contact

Karen Mitchell
Fisheries Branch
Karen.Mitchell@wildlife.ca.gov
(916) 445-0826

Hatchery Fish or Egg Requests

Hatchery Fish or Egg Requests are required for

Obtaining hatchery fish, eggs, and/or any parts thereof for research and/or educational purposes


Before you apply

CDFW hatchery fish are raised with limited, dedicated funding. For this reason please consider the following prior to applying:

Anadromous Fish and Eggs
Fish and eggs allocated for research are those produced in excess of the mitigation requirement of each anadromous hatchery; therefore, it is necessary to have all requests known prior to spawning (August 1st deadline below) to accommodate surpluses for research. Unforeseen circumstances (i.e, drought) may effect production at hatcheries and may compromise CDFW's ability to supply requested fish/eggs.

Trout and Inland Fish and Eggs
Commercial sources of trout are available from link opens in new windowregistered private aquacultuists in California and must be considered for the use of for-profit entities, or for research projects with dedicated funding.


Hatchery Request Deadlines

Species Submission Deadline
Trout/Inland Fish/Eggs/Parts Thereof Year Round
Anadromous Fish/Eggs/Parts Thereof August 1st *

 * Late submission cannot be accepted


Do I still need an SCP or other research permit?

The flow chart will help you determine whether or not you will need other research permits in addition to your Hatchery Request.

*Hatchery Fish - Any fish produced and raised in captivity (F&GC 1800)*
*Natural Origin Fish - Any fish produced in the wild that is brought into the hatchery*


Requesting Hatchery Fish, Eggs, or Parts Thereof

Use the contact information below to request hatchery fish, eggs, and/or parts thereof for research and/or educational purposes. Hatchery Request Protocols will be provided upon request.

Hatchery Request Contact Information

Farhat Bajjaliya
Fisheries Branch
Farhat.Bajjaliya@wildlife.ca.gov
(916) 327-8855