Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter III. Fishing.


Part A. Authorizing Fishing Licensure by Private Entities.

§ 8–2231.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this part, the term:

(1) "Covered establishment" means a business, nonprofit enterprise, or nonprofit institution that does not have as its primary or sole business the sale of licenses for recreational fishing in District waters.

(2)(A) "District waters" means flowing and still bodies of water in the District, whether artificial or natural, whether underground or on land.

(B) "District waters" shall not include:

(i) Water on private property prevented from reaching underground or land watercourses; and

(ii) Water in closed collection or distribution systems.

(3) "Recreational fishing" means the non-commercial taking or attempted taking of finfish for personal use, sport, or pleasure, which are not for sale, trade, or barter.

(4) "Substantial change in ownership" means a transfer of 10% or more in the equity of or financial interest in a covered establishment.


(May 19, 2017, D.C. Law 21-282, § 301, 64 DCR 2055.)

Construction of Law

Section 601 of D.C. Law 21-282 provides that nothing in this act shall be construed to affect an action or proceeding commenced before May 19, 2017.


§ 8–2231.02. Fishing licensure by covered establishments.

(a) The Mayor may sell licenses and licensure endorsements for recreational fishing in District waters.

(b) The Mayor may authorize a covered establishment to sell licenses and licensure endorsements for recreational fishing in District waters; provided, that the covered establishment:

(1) Designates and provides contact information for an agent to receive communication and notices from the Mayor;

(2) Operates a lawful establishment that is open to the public and maintains regular business hours;

(3) Demonstrates the ability to efficiently maintain an operation to sell licenses and licensure endorsements for recreational fishing in District waters;

(4) Demonstrates financial stability and responsibility;

(5) Provides a physically secure and readily-accessible location in an area where the public may obtain licenses and licensure endorsements for recreational fishing in District waters; and

(6) Employs sufficient personnel to efficiently accommodate purchasers of licenses and licensure endorsements for recreational fishing in District waters.

(c) In determining whether the covered establishment meets the requirements set forth in subsection (b) of this section, the Mayor may consider business performance records, business practices, financial resources, record of indebtedness, and other factors relating to financial reliability of the covered establishment, including:

(1) The location at which the covered establishment intends to sell licenses and licensure endorsements for recreational fishing in District waters, including the covered establishment's proximity to other sellers of licenses and licensure endorsements for recreational fishing in District waters;

(2) The number of customers who frequent the location;

(3) The volume of sales at the location; and

(4) The days and hours of operation.

(d) The Mayor shall develop an application for a covered establishment to obtain authorization pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. An owner, partner, director, or officer authorized to bind the covered establishment may complete and file the application on behalf of the covered establishment.

(e) The Mayor may develop criteria and an application for renewal of a covered establishment's authorization to sell licenses and licensure endorsements for recreational fishing in District waters. If the Mayor denies a renewal application, the covered establishment may submit an application pursuant to subsection (d) of this section to obtain authorization to sell licenses and licensure endorsements for recreational fishing in the District waters.

(f) Authorizations to sell licenses and licensure endorsements for recreational fishing in District waters shall be:

(1) Issued in the name of the covered establishment; and

(2) Valid for a period to be determined by the Mayor and shall expire at midnight of the last day of the period determined by the Mayor.

(g) Any covered establishment authorized under subsection (b) of this section shall:

(1) Accurately and promptly report transactions and sales as required by the Mayor;

(2) Make all financial settlements and payments promptly; and

(3) Hold in trust all monies received from the sale of fishing licenses, until such monies are transferred to the Mayor.

(h) The Mayor may, by regulation, require a covered entity that applies for authorization or renewal of authorization pursuant to subsection (b) or (d) of this section to pay an application fee, and may prorate such fees or costs based on the period of the authorization.

(i) Upon expiration of an authorization, a covered establishment shall cease selling licenses and licensure endorsements for recreational fishing in District waters, unless and until the covered establishment's authorization is renewed or reissued.


(May 19, 2017, D.C. Law 21-282, § 302, 64 DCR 2055.)


§ 8–2231.03. Denial, revocation, or suspension of authorization.

(a) The Mayor may deny, revoke, or suspend an authorization issued pursuant to § 8-2231.02, after notice and opportunity for a hearing pursuant to § 8-2231.05, for the following reasons:

(1) An owner, partner, director, officer, or the agent designated pursuant to § 8-2231.02(b)(1) of the covered establishment has been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, a felony;

(2) The covered establishment included false or misleading information on its application;

(3) The covered establishment is not authorized or licensed to operate or conduct business in the District;

(4) The covered establishment fails to notify the Mayor within 45 days in advance of a material change in information, including a substantial change in ownership, change of address, or a significant change in operations;

(5) The covered establishment fails to take security precautions as required by the Mayor in rules issued pursuant to § 8-2231.06 regarding the handling of any licenses or licensure equipment;

(6) The covered establishment fails to comply with the requirements of this part or any other laws or regulations applicable to the conduct of its operations; or

(7) The covered establishment becomes insolvent or dissolves.

(b) The Mayor, in the event of a denial, revocation, or suspension of an authorization pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, shall provide notice, which shall include the reason for the denial, revocation, or suspension and shall notify the covered establishment of its right to contest the denial, revocation, or suspension at a hearing pursuant to § 8-2231.05.

(c) Upon notifying a covered establishment of the denial, revocation, or suspension of its authorization pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Mayor may require the covered establishment to:

(1) Cease the sale of licenses and licensure endorsements for recreational fishing in District waters;

(2) Render an accounting by the date specified on the notice; or

(3) Surrender licensure equipment and any other District property to the District by the date specified on the notice.


(May 19, 2017, D.C. Law 21-282, § 303, 64 DCR 2055.)


§ 8–2231.04. Voluntary cessation of sales.

(a) An authorized covered establishment shall notify the Mayor, in writing, at least 30 days in advance of the covered establishment's intent to voluntarily stop selling licenses and licensure endorsements for recreational fishing in District waters pursuant to its authorization issued under § 8-2231.02(b).

(b) Within 7 days of voluntarily stopping the sale of licenses and licensure endorsements for recreational fishing in District waters, a covered establishment shall return any District property related to the covered establishment's authorization issued under § 8-2231.02(b).


(May 19, 2017, D.C. Law 21-282, § 304, 64 DCR 2055.)


§ 8–2231.05. Administrative appeals.

A covered establishment aggrieved by an action of the Mayor taken pursuant to this part, or regulations promulgated pursuant to this part, may appeal the action to the Office of Administrative Hearings pursuant to § 2-1831.03(a).


(May 19, 2017, D.C. Law 21-282, § 305, 64 DCR 2055.)


§ 8–2231.06. Rules; enforcement.

(a) The Mayor, pursuant Chapter 5 of Title 2, may issue rules to implement the provisions of this part.

(b) The Attorney General for the District of Columbia may commence appropriate civil action in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia or any other court of competent jurisdiction for damages, reasonable attorney and expert witness fees, and injunctive or other appropriate relief to enforce compliance with this part or regulations promulgated pursuant to this part.


(May 19, 2017, D.C. Law 21-282, § 306, 64 DCR 2055.)


Part B. Establishing and Clarifying Fishing Authorities.

§ 8–2231.11. Allowable fishing gear types.

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, the Mayor may authorize and license the possession, transport, and use of bows, arrows, spears, and other implements for the capture or killing of any fish.

(b) No person shall possess, transport, or use an implement authorized under this section, unless a license issued pursuant to subsection (a) of this section is in the licensee's physical possession when the licensee is possessing, transporting, or using the implement.

(c) The Mayor may impose civil infraction penalties, fines, and fees for a violation of this section or regulations promulgated pursuant to this section, pursuant to the procedures of Chapter 18 of Title 2.

(d) The Department of Energy and Environment may enter into an agreement with any federal or District agency to work cooperatively on enforcement of this section or a regulation promulgated pursuant to this section.

(e) The Mayor, pursuant to Chapter 5 of Title 2, may issue rules to implement the provisions of this part.


(May 19, 2017, D.C. Law 21-282, § 311, 64 DCR 2055.)

Construction of Law

Section 601 of D.C. Law 21-282 provides that nothing in this act shall be construed to affect an action or proceeding commenced before May 19, 2017.


§ 8–2231.12. Fish consumption advisory.

The Mayor may publish, based on scientific analysis of the composition of fish tissue and other scientific indicators, an advisory recommending the safest means of consuming fish captured in the District's waterways and any recommended consumption limits.


(May 19, 2017, D.C. Law 21-282, § 312, 64 DCR 2055.)