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Permits to Construct and Operate a Trout Farm

The following permits are required for trout farm construction and/or operation in North Carolina:

  • Army Corps of Engineers – 404 Permit
    This permit is required to construct an intake and/or a diversion structure to divert water from a stream to the trout farm. In addition, trout farm site analysis is required to determine if wetlands will be impacted. The 404 permit takes about 3-4 months to process and is required before construction is initiated on the farm or intake site. The cost is $100. Call 828-271-7980 for more information.
  • Division of Water Quality – DENR – Effluent Discharge Permit
    An Application (Notice of Intent or NOI) is required prior to construction of the trout farm for those farms that will need an effluent discharge permit once the facility is operational. This permit is required for trout farms producing more than 20,000 pounds and using more than 5,000 pounds of feed in any month. Most trout farms qualify for a general permit, which takes about one month to process. The Division may require an individual permit, which extends the amount of time to process the application. In most cases, there is no fee for this permit, which is required before propagation occurs. Call 828-296-4500 for more information.
  • North Carolina Department of Agriculture – Propagation Permit
    NCDA requires all commercial trout farmers to have a propagation permit. There is no fee for the permit, which is valid for 5 years. Call 252-633-1477 for more information.
  • Additional Requirements
    County Planning Departments may require additional permits to construct a trout farm. Other agencies (i.e. TVA, EPA) may have jurisdiction as well. Contact the local County Planning Department for more information.