NOTICE OF STOCKING FAQs
Who needs to submit a Notice of Stocking (NOS)?
Anyone who will introduce (stock) fish into waters of this Commonwealth except baited on a hook for angling purposes.
What is considered a water of this Commonwealth?
- Flowing water such as rivers, streams, or creeks on public and private property.
- Non-flowing water such as lakes, ponds (including farm ponds), or reservoirs on public and private property.
Do I need to submit an NOS to stock my ornamental pond?
No. An ornamental pond is defined as any outdoor pond constructed as an aesthetic landscape feature that has a closed system of water circulation with no risk of contacting the surface waters of this Commonwealth and does not include aquaculture facilities, ponds constructed to provide fishing opportunity, or ponds used for the confinement or production of baitfish.
Do I need to submit an NOS if I plan to stock fish that I caught in one waterbody in another waterbody?
Do I need to submit an NOS if I am stocking for a fishing tournament or derby?
Yes, an NOS is required in addition to a PFBC Special Activities Permit (SAP). Applicants selecting fishing derby/tournament must obtain a PFBC Special Activities Permit (SAP) prior to holding the event. SAP Applications are available at all PFBC offices and on the PFBC Tournaments and Derbies page.
Do PFBC Cooperative Nurseries need to submit NOS forms?
Yes, contact the PFBC Cooperative Nursery Program Coordinator with any questions.
Do Trout in the Classroom participants need to submit NOS forms?
Contact the TIC coordinator for program guidance.
Is an NOS needed to stock a waterbody which has a Regulated Lake Permit?
Yes. Regulated Lakes are considered waters of this Commonwealth, and an NOS would be required.
Who does not need to submit an NOS?
- "Waters of this Commonwealth" does not include waters contained within a property or premise of a propagation facility licensed under the Pennsylvania Aquaculture Development Law (3 Pa.C.S. §§ 4201-4223).
- Triploid grass carp (TGC) permit holders stocking in accordance with their valid permit(s) should report as directed by that program.
- Ornamental ponds defined as any outdoor pond constructed as an aesthetic landscape feature that has a closed system of water circulation with no risk of contacting the surface waters of this Commonwealth and does not include aquaculture facilities, ponds constructed to provide fishing opportunity, or ponds used for the confinement or production of baitfish.
When does the NOS requirement go into effect?
January 1, 2024
When do I need to complete an NOS?
Prior to introduction of fish into waters of this Commonwealth, an NOS form must be submitted for each waterbody being stocked. Multiple stocking events occurring within a single calendar year at the same waterbody may be documented on a single NOS form.
How far in advance can a stocking customer fill out the NOS?
An NOS can be submitted when the details of the stocking event(s) are confirmed.
What does an NOS cost?
There is no cost to submit an NOS.
What information do I need to complete an NOS?
You will need:
- Applicant name and address
- Associated PFBC Cooperative Nursery (if applicable)
- Stocking location name and location (Latitude/Longitude preferred), size of stocking area, stocking date range, number of stocking events
- Fish species, size(s), and approximate number or pounds of fish
- Producer, hatchery or dealer name and state
How do I access and complete the NOS form?
The NOS form and instructions can be found on HuntFishPA and the PFBC Notice of Stocking page.
How do I submit an NOS?
- Online applications are submitted through HuntFishPA.
- Paper applications have email and mail submission options.
How do I make changes after submitting the form?
Submit changes to RA-FB-PFBCStocking@pa.gov or 717-705-7900.
How long will it take to complete an NOS form?
An NOS can take as few as five minutes to complete but will depend on the complexity of your stocking. For example, the more species and/or size ranges of fish you plan to stock the more time the form will take.
How do I find GPS coordinates?
Use Google Maps or similar. Need help finding coordinates? Try Google Maps Help.
Is it possible to list approximate pounds or numbers to be stocked on the NOS form?
Can mixed species be included in the approximate total on the form without knowing the exact amount of each?
No. You will need to provide the approximate amount for each species.
Can a commercial fish producer, hatchery or dealer submit an NOS on my behalf?
Who do I contact for help with questions filling out NOS forms or other stocking questions?
Contact us at RA-FB-PFBCStocking@pa.gov or 717-705-7900.
Will confirmation from the PFBC be provided for each NOS submitted by mail or email?
Yes, PFBC will provide receipt confirmation.
If multiple stocking events occur in one waterbody and they include more than one stocking category, are multiple NOS forms needed?
No, one NOS form is required for each waterbody regardless of the number of stocking categories. For example, two stocking events are planned for a waterbody with a stocking category of general stocking for the first stocking event and fishing derby/tournament for the second stocking event. In this case, only one NOS will be needed, with both stocking categories selected on the form. Additionally, a separate Special Activity Permit (SAP) is required for the fishing derby/tournament.
Are there any benefits to submitting an NOS form?
Yes, the NOS form helps the PFBC track the number, species, and location of fish being introduced into the waters of the Commonwealth. The information will assist the PFBC in assessing and quantifying fishing opportunities created outside of the PFBC as well as monitor threats to the Commonwealth's aquatic resources.
Are there any Fish Health requirements associated with an NOS?
There are no new fish health requirements associated with the NOS process. However, there are established fish health requirements for stocking fish in Commonwealth waters. Refer to the to 58 Pa. Code § 71a.7 Introduction or transportation of VHS-susceptible species of fish and PFBC Special Activities Permit (SAP) requirements for details.
What happens if I don't submit an NOS?
A Waterways Conservation Officer (WCO) may provide education of the requirement, request you submit an NOS to comply with the regulation, issue a warning, or issue a $150.00 citation.
Do I need a copy of the NOS while stocking fish?
Yes, an electronic or hard copy of the Notice of Stocking is required at the location during the time fish are stocked.
What happens if I don't have a copy of my NOS at the stocking event?
A WCO may provide education of the requirement and request you submit an NOS to comply with the regulation.
What if any of the information submitted on NOS forms will be available to the public in either aggregate or individually, by either publication by PFBC or via Right to Know Law (RTKL) style requests?
The PFBC has no intention at this time of publishing or making publicly available the information provided on the NOS forms. However, the PFBC will comply with the RTKL requirements, including any exceptions and redaction requirements, if a RTKL request is received.
How do I become a licensed propagator under the Pennsylvania Aquaculture Developement Law (3
Pa.C.S. §§ 4201-4223)?
Contact the PA Department of Agriculture for information.
Where do I find suppliers for fish to stock?
- Search for commercial hatcheries in your area.
- Refer to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Pennsylvania Sport Fish Directory
Do other states require stocking notices?
Yes, over 30 states have requirements (regulations and/or stocking authorizations) for determining how and when fish are stocked in state waters.