87-4-603. Fish pond license for artificial lake or pond -- records. (1) A person who owns or lawfully controls an artificial lake or pond may apply to the director for a fish pond license. The holder of a private fish pond license may stock the fish pond with fish procured from a lawful source. The department may designate the species of fish that may be released in the pond and otherwise condition the license if there is a possibility of fish escaping from the pond into adjacent streams or lakes. The license holder may take fish from the lake or pond in any manner. Before a license holder may sell fish or eggs or fry from the lake or pond, the license holder shall furnish a corporate surety bond to the state for $500, conditioned to the effect that the license holder will not sell fish or spawn from any of the public waters of this state or violate the conditions of the license and also conditioned to the effect that the license holder will submit an annual report on transactions to the director.
(2) "Artificial lake or pond", as used in this section, does not include a natural pond or body of water, including streams and rivers, created by natural means or any portion of the streambed or lakebed of a natural pond or body of water. It includes only bodies of water created by artificial means or diversion of water that do not exceed 500 acres of surface area.
(3) The department may condition the license to require the construction, implementation, and maintenance of measures or devices to prevent fish in an artificial lake or pond from escaping into adjacent waters.
(4) (a) A licensee who sells fish or eggs shall keep accurate records of:
(i) the species and quantities of fish or eggs sold or purchased;
(ii) dates of sales or purchases;
(iii) names of purchasers or sellers; and
(iv) locations to or from which fish or eggs are transferred.
(b) On or before January 31 of each year, a licensee who sells fish or eggs shall file a report with the department, on forms made available by the department, summarizing the records required under subsection (4)(a).
(5) A person who owns or controls an artificial lake or pond may request an inspection by the department to ascertain the presence of disease in fish or the illegal introduction of fish species. Whenever the department has reasonable cause to believe that a fish species in the body of water may have been illegally introduced or may have a disease that may affect fish in another body of water, the department shall notify the landowner or landowner's agent by mail or in person of the intention to enter upon the land and shall enter only after notice has been given to the landowner or agent or after every reasonable effort has been made to notify the landowner and receive permission to enter upon the land. Thereafter, the department may enter upon land under the provisions of this subsection for the purposes of inspecting the pond or the body of water, the species of fish in the pond or the body of water, the presence of disease in a fish species, the construction of any impoundment, dam, or fish barrier, and the physical connection of an artificial lake or pond to an adjacent natural lake, pond, or body of water, including a stream or river. The department is responsible for actual damages to any property.
(6) If the department finds an illegal introduction of fish or the presence of disease in fish in a licensed fish pond, an artificial lake or pond, or a natural lake, pond, or body of water, the department shall consult with the landowner or the landowner's agent to determine the appropriate action unless an emergency exists. In an emergency situation, the department may order or take appropriate action to address any threat to the state's fisheries resources, including quarantine or destruction of fish, eggs, or the source of a disease. Whenever privately owned fish are destroyed and the private owner is not responsible for an illegal introduction or the introduction of fish with a disease, the department may replace the destroyed fish without charge to the private owner. A landowner or agent who has granted permission for the department to enter is not considered responsible for an illegal introduction of fish or disease unless proven otherwise.
History: En. Sec. 14A, Ch. 238, L. 1921; re-en. Sec. 3695, R.C.M. 1921; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 77, L. 1923; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 43, L. 1929; re-en. Sec. 3695, R.C.M. 1935; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 125, L. 1949; amd. Sec. 28, Ch. 511, L. 1973; amd. Sec. 32, Ch. 9, L. 1977; amd. Sec. 13, Ch. 417, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 26-306; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 376, L. 1989; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 425, L. 1995.