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Effective January 1, 2024

Ensuring the health and wellbeing of Pennsylvania's waters and aquatic life is paramount to the mission of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and we must be proactive in responding to the increasing challenges brought on by aquatic invasive species and threats to fish health.

As such, effective January 1, 2024, any person or group engaged in stocking fish into Commonwealth waters is required to notify the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) by way of Notice of Stocking (NOS).

An NOS is needed for:

    • Stocking flowing water such as rivers, streams, or creeks on public and private property
    • Stocking non-flowing water such as lakes, ponds (including farm ponds), or reservoirs on public and private property

An NOS is NOT needed for:

    • Fish baited on a hook for angling purposes
    • Stocking an ornamental pond constructed as a closed water circulation aesthetic landscape feature 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
    • Stocking allowed by a triploid grass carp (TGC) permit and reported as directed by that program
    • Stocking waters contained within a property or premise of a propagation facility licensed under the Pennsylvania Aquaculture Development Law (3 Pa.C.S. §§ 4201-4223)

Separate from an NOS submission, the scenarios outlined below require prior written permission from the Commission.  Send requests to the Executive Director, P.O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17106.

  • No species of fish may be transported into this Commonwealth from another state, province or country and liberated in a watershed of this Commonwealth.
  • Fish to be stocked are limited to those listed on the Commission's Species by Watershed Approved for Open System (Flow Through) Propagation and Introductions list, whether it comes from an in state or out of state source.
  • It is unlawful to introduce, place, or stock fish in waters that have been designated by the Commission as catch and release, wilderness trout, or wild trout management waters (which include waters designated as Class A wild trout streams).  The full list of catch and release, wilderness trout, and wild trout management waters can be found on the Commissions' Trout Water Classifications webpage.  This does not prohibit a person from returning fish unharmed to the waters from which they were caught or taken.​


An NOS form must be submitted for each waterbody prior to stocking.  Multiple stocking events of a waterbody within a single calendar year may be documented on a single form.

The Notice of Stocking form submission is free and easy and 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.


Online, go to HuntFishPA (use NOS instructions or watch the video)

Submitting an online form for someone else:

    • Individual – Use a HuntFishPA individual account or create a limited account which does not require a driver's license or social security number. Limited account creation guide is included in the HFPA NOS Instructions.
    • Commercial - Recommended for aquaculture industry businesses and PFBC Cooperative Nurseries.  Organizational accounts eliminate the use of personal accounts for stockings made as part of a group or on behalf of a client. Request an Organizational Account by emailing

Paper or fillable form, use PFBC-NOS-001

Information needed to complete the form:

    • Applicant name and address
    • Associated PFBC Cooperative Nursery (if applicable)
    • Waterbody name and location (Latitude/Longitude preferred), size of stocking area, stocking date range, number of stocking events
    • Fish species, size, approximate number or pounds of fish
    • Producer, hatchery, or dealer providing the fish name and state

If you need to make changes after submitting an NOS, contact or 717-705-7900.

If you don't submit a NOS, a Waterways Conservation Officer may provide education of the requirement, request you submit a NOS to comply with the regulation, issue a warning or issue a $150.00 citation.


Established fish health requirements for stocking fish into Commonwealth waters:

Learn more about NOS from our Frequently Asked Questions.