Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 22. Wildlife Protection.


Subchapter I. General Provisions.

§ 8–2201. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “Animal Care and Control Agency” means the agency established by § 8-1802.

(2) “Department” means the Department of Energy and Environment.

(3) “Director” means the Director of the Department of Energy and Environment.

(4) “Licensed wildlife rehabilitator” means a wildlife rehabilitator licensed in any state or the District.

(5) “Wildlife” shall include any free-roaming wild animal, but shall not include:

(A) Domestic animals;

(B) Commensal rodents;

(C) Invertebrates; and

(D) Fish.

(6) “Wildlife control” means to harass, repel, evict, exclude, possess, transport, liberate, reunite, rehome, take, euthanize, or kill wildlife.

(7) “Wildlife control operator” means a person who is licensed to perform wildlife control services under § 8-2204, but shall not include the Animal Care and Control Agency or a property manager as defined by § 47-2853.141.

(8) “Wildlife control services provider” means the operator of a business which involves the charging of a fee for services in wildlife control.


(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 2, 57 DCR 11499; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008, 61 DCR 9990; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 6002(a), 63 DCR 10775.)

Editor's Notes

Former § 8-2201 has been recodified as § 8-2031.


§ 8–2202. Wildlife control service providers.

(a) A wildlife control services provider shall recommend and employ nonlethal means in preference to lethal means for the control of problem wildlife.

(b) All traps and exclusion devices used by a wildlife control services provider shall be labeled with the name, address, and phone number of the wildlife control service provider.

(c) Traps used by a wildlife control services provider shall be set in a manner designed to catch the target animal and in the manner likely to avoid capture of and harm to non-target animals.

(d) Wildlife shall be captured, handled, and, when permissible, transported, in a manner to ensure against causing unnecessary discomfort, behavioral stress, or physical harm to the animal, including providing protections against weather extremes.

(e) All traps shall be checked by the wildlife control services provider in a timely and reasonable manner, but no more than 24 hours after being set, and at least once every 24 hours thereafter; provided, that traps shall be checked more frequently if environmental conditions require.

(f) Captured non-target wildlife shall be released immediately at the site of capture. Captured non-target wildlife that pose an unreasonable risk to the health and safety to persons or domestic animals or that are injured and need veterinary care and rehabilitation shall:

(1) With permission of the property owner, be relocated to a suitable location where nuisance problems are unlikely to occur;

(2) Transferred to a wildlife rehabilitator, if the animal is sick, injured, or abandoned; or

(3) Euthanized if relocation or rehabilitation are not feasible.

(g) Captured target wildlife shall be:

(1) Released at the site of capture;

(2) With permission of the property owner, be relocated to a safe location where nuisance problems are unlikely to occur;

(3) Transferred to a wildlife rehabilitator, if the animal is sick, injured, or abandoned; or

(4) If none of the other options are feasible, euthanized.

(h) Wildlife expressing symptoms of disease shall be taken to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or surrendered to the Animal Care and Control Agency for evaluation and assessment. Outbreaks or potential widespread occurrence of suspect diseases, such as avian botulism, shall be reported to the Department.

(i) A wildlife control services provider shall make every reasonable effort to preserve family units using humane eviction or displacement and reunion strategies and shall not knowingly abandon dependent young wildlife in a structure.

(j) Wildlife shall not be kept in captivity longer than 36 hours unless specifically authorized by the Department or unless reunion attempts are being employed. In the case of attempted reunion, a wildlife control services provider may hold wildlife in captivity for up to 72 hours.

(k) Captured wildlife shall be transported in covered, secure containers in such a way as to:

(1) Minimize stress to the animal and its exposure to the elements by covering the trap or vehicle with appropriate material;

(2) Ensure that the covering is of such material that the animal has an adequate supply of air to prevent overheating; and

(3) Minimize potential hazards to the general public.

(l) A wildlife control services provider shall not use sticky or glue traps to control any wildlife.

(m) A wildlife control services provider shall not use leghold and other body-gripping traps, body-crushing traps, snares, or harpoon-type traps to control any wildlife.

(n) A wildlife control services provider shall kill wildlife only by methods that conform to the most recently published Report of the American Veterinary Medical Association Panel on Euthanasia, unless otherwise prohibited by this chapter or rules promulgated by the Department.

(o) A wildlife control services provider shall use the available method of euthanasia that is the quickest, least stressful, and least painful to the animal under the circumstances.


(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 3, 57 DCR 11499; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008, 61 DCR 9990.)

Editor's Notes

Former § 8-2202 has been recodified as § 8-2032.


§ 8–2203. Notice to clients.

Before undertaking any control measures, a wildlife control services provider shall provide to the client, in writing, the following:

(1) An assessment of the problem, including identification of possible causes of the problem;

(2) The methods and practices that may be used to resolve the problem, clearly specifying possible lethal and nonlethal means;

(3) Agreed-upon disposition of the animal;

(4) An estimate of the fee to be charged; and

(5) Where applicable, the methods and practices which the client may employ in the future to limit recurrence of the problem.


(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 4, 57 DCR 11499; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008, 61 DCR 9990.)

Editor's Notes

Former § 8-2203 has been recodified as § 8-2033.


§ 8–2204. Wildlife control operator license.

(a) The Department shall implement a licensing program for wildlife control operators. After the program is implemented, a wildlife control operator shall not engage in the business of providing wildlife control services unless the person is licensed to do so under this chapter.

(b) The Director may deny a license if the Director has a reasonable belief that issuing a license to the applicant would pose a threat:

(1) To public health or safety; or

(2) Of cruelty to animals.

(c) The Director shall deny a license if the applicant has been convicted of an offense involving wildlife or cruelty to animals within the previous 10 years.


(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 5, 57 DCR 11499; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008, 61 DCR 9990.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-2201 and § 8-2212.

Editor's Notes

Former § 8-2204 has been recodified as § 8-2034.

Applicability of D.C. Law 18-289: Section 13 of D.C. Law 18-289, codified as § 8-2212, provided that §§ 8-2204 through 8-2209 shall apply upon the inclusion of their fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Section 8-2212 was repealed by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008.


§ 8–2205. General wildlife control operator license conditions.

(a) To obtain a wildlife control operator license, an applicant shall:

(1) Be at least 18 years of age;

(2) Complete a wildlife control operator training class approved by the Department;

(3) Pass an examination approved by the Department;

(4) Pay a fee in an amount specified by the Department; and

(5) Comply with all additional licensing requirements established by the Department.

(b) A wildlife control operator may perform wildlife control only for wildlife that are designated on his or her license.

(c) The Department shall identify, by rule, the species of wildlife that may be controlled and specify the methods that may be used to control each species.

(d) Wildlife, or parts thereof, shall not be sold, bartered, traded, given to another person, or retained for any purpose; provided, that an animal may be given to a wildlife rehabilitator, veterinarian, or animal control officer for rehabilitation or euthanasia.

(e) The Department may, by rule, establish:

(1) Minimum liability insurance requirements for wildlife control operators to ensure protection of District residents; and

(2) Additional licensing requirements for wildlife rehabilitators.

(f) A wildlife control operator license shall not be transferable.

(g) A wildlife control operator license shall be renewed biennially.


(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 6, 57 DCR 11499; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008, 61 DCR 9990.)

Editor's Notes

Former § 8-2205 has been recodified as § 8-2035.

Applicability of D.C. Law 18-289: Section 13 of D.C. Law 18-289, codified as § 8-2212, provided that §§ 8-2204 through 8-2209 shall apply upon the inclusion of their fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Section 8-2212 was repealed by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008.


§ 8–2206. Control of specific species.

(a) The use of any toxicant to control pigeons, European starlings, or house sparrows shall be prohibited. The Department may limit the use of toxicants on other species of wildlife where it is determined that the wildlife can be reasonably controlled using less harmful methods.

(b)(1) The Department, in consultation with the Department of Health, shall establish rules governing the control of feral dogs and cats in the District by wildlife control operators.

(2) The Department’s rules shall be consistent with the District’s policy in favor of trap, neuter, return, and adoption for controlling feral cats, as established by the Animal Care and Control Agency pursuant to § 8-1802.

(3) When no other methods of control have been adequate, the Department may authorize a wildlife control operator to control feral dogs or cats. Wildlife control operators controlling feral dogs or cats under such a permit shall abide by the requirements set forth in this chapter.


(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 7, 57 DCR 11499; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008, 61 DCR 9990.)

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 18-289: Section 13 of D.C. Law 18-289, codified as § 8-2212, provided that §§ 8-2204 through 8-2209 shall apply upon the inclusion of their fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Section 8-2212 was repealed by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008.


§ 8–2207. Service records and annual reports.

(a) A wildlife control operator shall maintain records of all wildlife control services documenting the following information at each service call:

(1) Client’s name and address;

(2) Date of service;

(3) Nature of the complaint;

(4) Methods employed to alleviate problem;

(5) Number and species of wildlife handled; and

(6) Method of disposition of all animals, including place of disposition of all animals.

(b) On or before January 15 of each year, a wildlife control operator shall submit an accurate summary of activities of the preceding calendar year on forms provided by the Department. The summary shall contain the following information:

(1) Name, phone number, and address of wildlife control operator;

(2) Total number of complaints;

(3) Number and kinds of wildlife handled and their disposition;

(4) Number of wildlife euthanized and method of euthanasia employed; and

(5) Period covered.

(c) A wildlife control operator shall keep all required records for 3 years and shall make the records available for inspection by the Director or his or her designee at any reasonable time.

(d) The Department shall keep records of all wildlife control operator summary reports and shall regularly compile and publish the information online.

(e) Within 2 years after March 8, 2011, the Department shall provide a report to the Council on the effectiveness of the regulation of wildlife control services, including the prohibitions on the use of certain control techniques, and recommendations for further legislation to improve regulation of wildlife control.


(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 8, 57 DCR 11499; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008, 61 DCR 9990.)

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 18-289: Section 13 of D.C. Law 18-289, codified as § 8-2212, provided that §§ 8-2204 through 8-2209 shall apply upon the inclusion of their fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Section 8-2212 was repealed by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008.


§ 8–2208. Suspension or revocation of license.

(a) The Department may suspend or revoke the license of a wildlife control operator if the applicant:

(1) Violates the provisions of this chapter or the conditions of the license; or

(2) Engages in fraudulent business practices.

(b) The Department shall suspend or revoke the license of a wildlife control operator if the applicant is convicted of an offense set forth in Chapter 10 of Title 22 [§ 22-1001 et seq.].


(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 9, 57 DCR 11499; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008, 61 DCR 9990.)

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 18-289: Section 13 of D.C. Law 18-289, codified as § 8-2212, provided that §§ 8-2204 through 8-2209 shall apply upon the inclusion of their fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Section 8-2212 was repealed by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008.


§ 8–2209. Fees.

(a) The Mayor shall establish a schedule of fees for licenses issued under § 8-2204.

(b) The Mayor may require reimbursement of costs for services, including inspections, sample collection, document review, or other reasonable costs or fees incurred in implementing this subchapter, or regulations promulgated pursuant to this subchapter.


(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 10, 57 DCR 11499; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008, 61 DCR 9990; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 6002(b), 63 DCR 10775.)

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 18-289: Section 13 of D.C. Law 18-289, codified as § 8-2212, provided that §§ 8-2204 through 8-2209 shall apply upon the inclusion of their fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Section 8-2212 was repealed by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008.


§ 8–2210. Complaints.

The Department shall keep a record of any written or oral complaints lodged against a wildlife control services provider and shall document action taken by the Department in response to the complaint.


(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 11, 57 DCR 11499; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008, 61 DCR 9990.)


§ 8–2211. Enforcement.

(a) The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2 [§ 2-501 et seq.], may issue rules to implement the provisions of this chapter.

(b) The Mayor may bring an action in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to enjoin the violation or threatened violation of any provision of this chapter or of any rules promulgated under this chapter.

(c) The Mayor may impose civil infraction penalties, fines, and fees as alternative sanctions for any violation of this subchapter or a regulation promulgated pursuant to this chapter, pursuant to the procedures set forth in Chapter 18 of Title 2.


(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 12, 57 DCR 11499; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008, 61 DCR 9990; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 6002(c), 63 DCR 10775.)


§ 8–2212. Applicability. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Mar. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-289, § 13, 57 DCR 11499; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 7008, 61 DCR 9990.)

Cross References

Surveyor of the District of Columbia, duties, see § 1-1301 et seq.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) repeal of section, see § 7008 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of section, see § 7008 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of this section, see § 7008 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).


Subchapter II. Game and Fish.

§ 8–2221.01. Prohibition and control of net fishing in Potomac River. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a), (e).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4301.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1601.


§ 8–2221.02. Catching and killing bass. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a), (e).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4302.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1602.


§ 8–2221.03. “Person” defined; sale of bass prohibited. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a), (e).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4303.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1603.


§ 8–2221.04. Sale and possession of shad or herring. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a), (e).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4304.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1604.


§ 8–2221.05. Sale of small striped bass. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a), (e).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4305.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1605.


§ 8–2221.06. Use of explosives and drugs in fishing prohibited. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a), (e).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4306.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1606.


§ 8–2221.07. Penalties. [Transferred]

Transferred.


Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4307.

Editor's Notes

For present law, see § 22-4404.


§ 8–2221.08. Confiscation of fishing equipment used in violation of the law. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4308.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.


§ 8–2221.09. Sale and possession of woodcocks. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4309.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.


§ 8–2221.10. Sale and possession of squirrels, rabbits. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4310.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.


§ 8–2221.11. Sale and possession of wild ducks, wild geese, brant, snipe or plover. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4311.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.


§ 8–2221.12. Sale and possession of water-rail or ortolan, reed bird and certain game birds. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4312.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.


§ 8–2221.13. Sale and possession of deer meat. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4313.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.


§ 8–2221.14. Catching, exposing for sale, or possession of wild birds. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4314.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.


§ 8–2221.15. Trapping, netting or ensnaring waterfowl. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4315.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.


§ 8–2221.16. Inspection of premises to detect violation of game laws. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4316.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.


§ 8–2221.17. Trespassing for purposes of hunting. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4317.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.


§ 8–2221.18. Shooting or having guns in possession on a Sunday. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4318.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.


§ 8–2221.19. Killing or capturing game beyond District jurisdiction. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4319.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.


§ 8–2221.20. Compensation for persons securing convictions under game laws. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4320.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.


§ 8–2221.21. Killing game birds and permits therefor. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4321.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.


§ 8–2221.22. Hunting squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits without a permit. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4322.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.


§ 8–2221.23. Killing of English sparrow or wild animal suffering from disease or injury. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4323.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.


§ 8–2221.24. Hunting or disbursing of ducks, geese, and waterfowl . [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4324.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.


§ 8–2221.25. Sale, possession, or purchase of certain types of birds prohibited. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4325.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.


§ 8–2221.26. License for certain scientific purposes. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., §§ 22-4326.

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.


§ 8–2221.27. Sale of birds raised in captivity or for propagation. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 8(a)-(d).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., §§ 22-1608.

2001 Ed., § 22-4327.


§ 8–2221.28. Council’s authority with respect to wild animals, fishing licenses, and migratory birds; exception; “wild animals” defined.

The Council of the District of Columbia is authorized to restrict, prohibit, regulate, and control hunting and fishing and the taking, possession, and sale of wild animals in the District; provided, that the District assents to the provisions of the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act, approved August 9, 1950 (64 Stat. 430; 16 U.S.C. §§ 777 -777n ), the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act, approved September 2, 1937 (50 Stat. 917; 16 U.S.C. §§ 669 -669k ), and 18 U.S.C. § 701 , including a prohibition against the diversion of fishing license fees paid by sport fishermen for any purpose other than the administration of the District’s fish and wildlife agency; provided further, that nothing herein contained shall authorize the Council to prohibit, restrict, regulate, or control the killing, capture, purchase, sale, or possession of migratory birds as defined in regulations issued pursuant to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of July 3, 1918, as amended (16 U.S.C. §§ 703 -712 ) and taken for scientific, propagating, or other purposes under permits issued by the Secretary of the Interior; and provided further, that nothing herein contained shall authorize the Council to prohibit, restrict, regulate, or control the sale or possession of wild animals taken legally in any state, territory or possession of the United States or in any foreign country, or produced on a game farm, except as may be necessary to protect the public health or safety. As used in this section the term "wild animals" includes not-ordinarily-domesticated mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, invertebrates, and reptiles.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 814, Pub. L. 85-730, § 1; Sept. 24, 2010, D.C. Law 18-223, § 6082, 57 DCR 6242; May 19, 2017, D.C. Law 21-282, § 411, 64 DCR 2055.)

Prior Codifications

1973 Ed., § 22-1628.

1981 Ed., § 22-1628.

2001 Ed., § 22-4328.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-223 substituted “provided, that the District assents to the provisions of the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act, approved August 9, 1950 (64 Stat. 430; 16 U.S.C. §§ 777- 777n), the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act, approved September 2, 1937 (50 Stat. 917; 16 U.S.C. §§ 669- 669k), and 18 U.S.C. § 701, including a prohibition against the diversion of fishing license fees paid by sport fishermen for any purpose other than the administration of the District’s fish and wildlife agency” for “provided, that nothing herein contained shall authorize the Council to impose any requirement for a fishing license or fee of any nature whatsoever”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 6082 of Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-463, July 2, 2010, 57 DCR 6542).

Short Title

Short title: Section 6081 of D.C. Law 18-223 provided that subtitle I of title VI of the act may be cited as the “Assent to the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act Amendment Act of 2010”.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(204) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 8–2221.29. Inspection of business or vocational establishments requiring a license or permit or any vehicle, boat, market box, market stall or cold storage plant, during business hours.

Authorized officers and employees of the government of the United States or of the government of the District of Columbia are, for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this chapter and the regulations promulgated by the Council of the District of Columbia under the authority of this chapter, empowered, during business hours, to inspect any building or premises in or on which any business, trade, vocation, or occupation requiring a license or permit is carried on, or any vehicle, boat, market box, market stall, or cold-storage plant. No person shall refuse to permit any such inspection.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 814, Pub. L. 85-730, § 2.)

Prior Codifications

1973 Ed., § 22-1629.

1981 Ed., § 22-1629.

2001 Ed., § 22-4329.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(204) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 8–2221.30. Seizure of hunting and fishing equipment; sale at public auction and disposal of proceeds; disposal of property not sold at auction; payment of valid liens after sale.

(a) All rifles, shotguns, ammunition, bows, arrows, traps, seines, nets, boats, and other devices of every nature or description used by any person within the District of Columbia when engaged in killing, ensnaring, trapping, or capturing any wild bird, wild mammal, or fish contrary to this chapter or any regulation made pursuant to this chapter shall be seized by any police officer, or any designated civilian employee of the Metropolitan Police Department, upon the arrest of such person on a charge of violating any provision of this chapter or any regulations made pursuant thereto, and be delivered to the Mayor. If the person so arrested is acquitted, the property so seized shall be returned to the person in whose possession it was found. If the person so arrested is convicted, the property so seized shall, in the discretion of the court, be forfeited to the District of Columbia, and be sold at public auction, the proceeds from such sale to be deposited in the Treasury to the credit of the District of Columbia. If any item of such property is not purchased at such auction, it shall be disposed of in accordance with regulations prescribed by the District of Columbia Council.

(b) If any property seized under the authority of this section is subject to a lien which is established by intervention or otherwise to the satisfaction of the court as having been created without the lienor’s having any notice that such property was to be used in connection with a violation of any provision of this chapter or any regulation made pursuant thereto, the court, upon the conviction of the accused, may order a sale of such property at public auction. The officer conducting such sale, after deducting proper fees and costs incident to the seizure, keeping, and sale of such property, shall pay all such liens according to their priorities, and such lien or liens shall be transferred from the property to the proceeds of the sale thereof.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 814, Pub. L. 85-730, § 3; June 12, 1999, D.C. Law 12-284, § 5, 46 DCR 1328.)

Prior Codifications

1973 Ed., § 22-1630.

1981 Ed., § 22-1630.

2001 Ed., § 22-4330.

Cross References

Return of property by property clerk, see § 5-119.16.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 5 of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization and Street Solicitation for Prostitution Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-428, August 6, 1998, 45 DCR 5884), § 5 of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-506, November 10, 1998, 45 DCR 8139), and § 5 of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-13, February 8, 1999, 46 DCR 2333).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 3(a) of the Safe Streets Anti-Prostitution Emergency Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-252, April 15, 1996, 43 DCR 2139).

For temporary provision, on an emergency basis, making available for a reasonable fee the name, address, date of birth, occupation, and photograph of persons convicted of violation of §§ 22-2701 or 22-2703 1981 Ed., see § 2 of the Safe Streets Anti-Prostitution Emergency Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-252, April 15, 1996, 43 DCR 2139).

Temporary Legislation

Section 13(b) of D.C. Law 12-282 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Section 5 of D.C. Law 12-282 inserted “or any designated civilian employee of the Metropolitan Police Department” in the first sentence of (a).

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(205) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 8–2221.31. Penalties; prosecutions.

(a) Any person convicted of violating any provision of this chapter, or any regulation made pursuant to this chapter, shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or imprisoned not more than 90 days, or both.

(b) Prosecutions for violations of this chapter, or the regulations made pursuant thereto, shall be conducted in the name of the District of Columbia by the Corporation Counsel or any Assistant Corporation Counsel.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 4; May 21, 1994, D.C. Law 10-119, § 11(a), 41 DCR 1639; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 238, 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1973 Ed., § 22-1631.

1981 Ed., § 22-1631.

2001 Ed., § 22-4331.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $300” in (a).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 238 of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.


§ 8–2221.32. Delegation of functions by Secretary of the Interior and Mayor; Council to make regulations; “Mayor” and “Secretary of the Interior” defined.

(a) The Secretary of the Interior and the Mayor, respectively, are authorized to delegate any of the functions to be performed by them under the authority of this chapter.

(b) The Council of the District of Columbia is authorized to make such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purpose of this chapter; provided, that any regulations issued pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior insofar as they involve any areas or waters of the District of Columbia under the appropriate administrative jurisdiction.

(c) As used in this chapter the word “Mayor” means the Mayor of the District of Columbia or the appropriate designated agent or agents, and the words “Secretary of the Interior” means the Secretary of the Interior or the appropriate designated agent or agents.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 5; May 21, 1994, D.C. Law 10-119, § 11(b), 41 DCR 1639.)

Prior Codifications

1973 Ed., § 22-1632.

1981 Ed., § 22-1632.

2001 Ed., § 22-4332.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(204) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-211), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-213(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 8–2221.33. Existing authority of Secretary of the Interior not impaired.

Nothing in this chapter or in any regulation promulgated by the Council of the District of Columbia under the authority of this chapter shall in any way impair the existing authority of the Secretary of the Interior to control and manage fish and wildlife on the land and waters in the District of Columbia under the Secretary of the Interior’s administrative jurisdiction.


(Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 85-730, § 6; May 21, 1994, D.C. Law 10-119, § 11(c), 41 DCR 1639.)

Prior Codifications

1973 Ed., § 22-1633.

1981 Ed., § 22-1633.

2001 Ed., § 22-4333.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(204) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


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.)