Explore Regulations

The state and federal government regulates the sale of some plants and animals due to their invasive potential. It is illegal to be in possession of, sell, offer to sell or introduce into the environment prohibited and restricted plants and animals. For a complete list visit michigan.gov/invasives.

Be aware aquatic plants and animals can be difficult to identify and can be mislabeled at the supplier, wholesale and retail level. Our identification webpage lists identification resources available.

Selling live non-native aquatic organisms in Michigan

Registration with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is required for any person selling, or possessing for the purpose of selling, non-native aquatic species. This applies to wholesale vendors, retail vendors and shops, hobbyists and water garden retailers and nurseries. Entities must register yearly with the DNR. A separate registration is required for each location of sale. Anyone selling at trade shows must register separately for each sale event.

A confirmation number is provided for each registration. The seller is required to retain and conspicuously post the confirmation number at the sale location as proof of registration. Registration expires on Dec. 31 of the issuing year and must be updated each year.

Reporting the sale of non-native aquatic organisms

Anyone registered with DNR must also report sale information. Registrants are required to report the name and number of individuals of each aquatic species sold using the online reporting form. Some species are exempt from reporting; however, all sellers must submit a report regardless of the species sold. Reporting should cover sales from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.

For more information about registration and reporting visit www.michigan.gov/sellaquatics.

Regulated species in a shipment?

  • If you are retailer and you suspect you may have received a regulated plant species in a shipment, contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development immediately at 1-800-292-3939 or MDA-info@michigan.gov.
  • If you are retailer and you suspect you may have received a regulated fish, mollusk or crustacean in a shipment, contact Lucas Nathan at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources at NathanL@Michigan.gov or 517-599-9323.