Transferring a Salmon Permit from a Lost Vessel

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife regulates and facilitates the issuance, maintenance, and transfers of California commercial salmon permits. In general, permits can be transferred between vessels in certain circumstances, including upon the loss, theft, or destruction of the permitted vessel. Transfers following one of these events, however, are subject to strict restrictions and time limits. Applications to transfer a permit from a lost vessel must be received by the Department of Fish and Wildlife within one year of the date that the permitted vessel was lost, destroyed, or stolen. If additional time is needed, an extension must be requested from the Department within that first year. Failure to file an application or request for extension of time may prevent the transfer of the permit, essentially rendering the permit useless. Additionally, all permit fees must be paid and the permit must be kept current with the Department. Only the owner of the permit at the time the vessel was lost can apply for the transfer of the permit, and the owner must own at least fifty percent of both the lost vessel and the replacement vessel. The replacement vessel must have the same or less fishing potential than the lost vessel, meaning that the replacement vessel must have the same or less capability and capacity for harvesting salmon.

If the Department of Fish and Wildlife denies a requested permit transfer, the permit’s owner can appeal the denial by submitting an appeal in writing to the Fish and Game Commission within sixty days of the Department’s denial.

If you have any questions or need assistance regarding the sale, transfer, or maintenance of a California commercial salmon permit, please do not hesitate to call us.