1533.301 Annual permit for transporting fish - suspension or revocation.

Any person may apply for a permit to transport fish that are for sale, sold, or purchased. The chief of the division of wildlife shall issue an annual permit granting the applicant the privilege to transport such fish, upon filing of an application on a form prescribed by the chief and payment of a fee of sixty-five dollars. No person shall transport any fish or part thereof that is for sale, sold, or purchased, whether acquired in or outside this state, unless the consignor has a permit for the calendar year in which the fish is transported, except that no such permit is required for any of the following:

(A) Fish transported from a point outside this state to another point outside this state if the fish are not unloaded in this state. A fish is not to be considered unloaded for purposes of this section if it remains under the control of a common carrier.

(B) Fish being transported by a person holding a valid license under section 1533.34 of the Revised Code from the place of taking to the person's usual place of processing or temporary storage as designated by the person in the application for the license under that section;

(C) Fish being transported from a premises designated in a valid permit issued under section 1533.631 of the Revised Code to a premises where fish are to be sold at retail, sold for immediate consumption, or consumed if inspection of the designated premises as required by that section has not been denied during the preceding thirty days;

(D) Any quantity of fish the total weight of which does not exceed five hundred pounds in one vehicle;

(E) Minnows for which a permit is required under section 1533.40 of the Revised Code.

If a fish for which a permit is required under this section is transported in this state from a consignor who does not have a valid permit at the time of transportation, or if such a fish is transported in this state from a consignor who has a valid permit at the time of transportation, but the fish is part of the contents of a box, package, or receptacle that was or could be the basis for conviction of a violation of this chapter or a division rule, the fish may be seized by any law enforcement officer authorized by section 1531.13 of the Revised Code to enforce laws and division rules, and the fish shall escheat to the state unless a court of this state makes a specific finding that the consignor at the time of seizure had a valid permit under this section and that the fish are lawful under the requirements of this chapter or a division rule relating thereto.

A fish for which a permit is required under this section may be transported only if each box, package, or other receptacle bears a label showing the total weight in pounds, the species of the fish, the name of the consignor and consignee, the initial point of billing, the destination, and a statement that each species of fish by weight in the box, package, or other receptacle that are undersized under section 1533.63 of the Revised Code or division rule is ten per cent or less or is in excess of ten per cent, whichever the fact may be. If fish are not boxed or packaged, each compartment of a tank or other receptacle shall be considered a separate receptacle, but in lieu of a label on the compartment or tank a written statement containing the same information required to be contained on a label, and clearly identifying the tank or receptacle concerned, may be carried in the vehicle. Species may be designated in any manner, but the label also shall bear either the common name indicated in section 1533.63 of the Revised Code or the scientific name contained in section 1531.01 of the Revised Code. The consignor shall ascertain that labels are attached or statements carried as required herein and that the facts stated thereon are true.

The permit required by this section may be suspended by the chief for a period not to exceed five days upon conviction of the permittee of a violation of this chapter or Chapter 1531. of the Revised Code or a division rule if the permittee has been convicted of another such violation during the preceding twelve-month period. If the permittee has had two or more such convictions during the twelve-month period preceding such a conviction, the permittee's permit may be suspended as provided herein for a period not to exceed twenty days. A permit is invalid during the period of suspension, but in no case is a permit invalid until fifteen days after mailing by certified mail a notice of the rule of suspension by the chief.

The chief may not suspend more than one permit of the same permittee, or suspend a permit of the same permittee more than once, for convictions resulting from violations that occur in a load in one vehicle.

A driver or other person in charge of a vehicle transporting fish that are for sale, sold, or purchased, upon demand by any law enforcement officer authorized by section 1531.13 of the Revised Code to enforce laws and division rules, shall stop and open the vehicle and allow inspection of the load, and any box, package, or receptacle, and the contents thereof, for the purpose of determining whether this chapter or a division rule is being violated.

The word "fish" in the English language, at least eight inches high and maintained in a clear, conspicuous, and legible condition at all times, shall appear on both sides of the vehicle body of all vehicles transporting fresh water fish in this state when the fish are for sale or sold, except those fish exempt from a transportation permit in divisions (A), (B), and (E) of this section.

The chief may refuse to issue a permit to any person whose purpose in applying for the permit is to allow it to be used by another person to whom a permit has been refused or revoked. The chief also may revoke a person's permit when it is used for that purpose.

No civil action may be brought in any court in the state for the value or agreed price of fish that have escheated to the state under this section.

No person shall fail to comply with any provision of this section or a division rule adopted pursuant thereto.

In addition to other penalties provided in the Revised Code, the permit of any person who is convicted of two violations of this section that occurred within a twelve-month period is suspended upon the second such conviction by operation of law for a period of five fishing season days immediately following that conviction.

In addition to other penalties provided in the Revised Code, the permit of any person who is convicted of three or more violations of this section that occurred within a twelve-month period is suspended upon the third or subsequent conviction by operation of law for a period of twenty fishing season days immediately following that conviction.

During any period of suspension, no person shall use or engage in hauling or transporting fish with equipment owned, used, or controlled at the time of conviction by the permittee whose permit has been suspended.

Effective Date: 09-26-2003