Why Is It Illegal to Sell Crappie? Important Reasons to Learn

Crappies are a popular fish species that many anglers aim to catch for their delicious meat and the fight they give. While not easy to catch, beginners can learn a lot from catching crappie.

While many people love crappie, they are surprisingly not sold in stores. How come?

Because the law disallows the sale of this particular fish species!

But why is it illegal to sell crappie in the first place? Read on to find out the main reason why.

The Law of Selling Crappie

Before we get into why it’s illegal to sell crappie, let’s look at the fishing rules and regulations, which applies to all states.

In many Parks and Wildlife Departments in US states, they mention that,

“It is unlawful for any person to buy, sell, as well as to possess or transport for sale the following fish:

  • Blue marlin
  • Crappie
  • Flathead catfish
  • Longbill spearfish
  • Jewfish
  • Northern pike
  • Red drum
  • Snook
  • Striped bass
  • Spotted sea trout
  • White bass
  • Tarpon
  • White marlin”

In short, it is illegal to sell most game fish species. It is also illegal to harvest wild species and sell for commercial purposes.

Besides this, there are also other rules and regulations about the following:

  • Fishing permits required to fish in certain waters and areas of the state
  • Techniques and gear used to catch crappie
  • The amount, length, and weight limit of crappie you can catch and keep
  • Live bait, rig, and jug line regulations

All these rules and regulations vary by state, so be sure to check with the local area you plan to fish in.

Why Is It Illegal to Sell Crappie?

The main reason why crappies are not being sold by anglers, stores, or restaurants is because of the contaminants present from unregulated waters that crappie live in. Such contaminants may have gotten into the fish, which can’t be controlled by man.

But wait, isn’t crappie good to eat? That’s what they are mostly known for!

Fortunately, crappie IS safe to eat and not completely dangerous for human health. The Food and Drug Administration lists crappie as one of the edible fish species for humans. As long as you clean it well, it’s possible to cook and consume it without safety risks.

It is NOT a banned species, but while it is permitted to consume it when personally catching crappie, it’s illegal to sell to others to prevent spreading possible sicknesses and contaminants. Not only will store and restaurants are liable and take expense, but any of its possible contaminants can also potentially spread.

So don’t worry about it being a dangerous species to consume. The law is just a preventative measure in case of contaminants present.

Furthermore, local fishing and hunting departments may have banned the selling of crappie to prevent more anglers from targeting them for selling. This is to help maintain the crappie and other wild fish species’ populations.

What About Raising Crappie In Ponds?

One may counter that you CAN sell crappie if they are farm-raised in ponds. That is not the case as well.

You are permitted to catch or purchase broodstocks and fingerlings to raise in ponds. BUT, stores and restaurants may not have the resources to raise the fish. Furthermore, it’s a bit tedious raising crappie in ponds, especially when raising them alongside other fish species like bass.

Read More: Is It Illegal to Fish with Goldfish? Important Facts Anglers Should Know

Despite not being able to sell them, do you want to learn more about catching crappie for personal consumption? Check out this informative video:

Wrapping It Up

While crappie makes delicious fish, they are not to be sold for the purpose fo commercial sales. This goes for wild fish species caught from wild rivers or harvested and raised in farm ponds. So if you plan to catch crappie, do not sell it and look into your area’s rules to see if you are allowed to keep the caught fish or if needs to be released.

I hope that this article answers your question, “why is it illegal to sell crappie?” Make sure to stay acquainted with your local fishing rules and regulations to avoid hefty fees and the risk of losing your fishing license and/or permit.

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