Flying With Fish in Carry-on Luggage

Hello SCKC,

Did you know you can fly US domestic flights with bags of live fish?

Our club president, Ron Harlan, contacted TSA about their current rules about flying domestically with aquatic life. I pasted TSA’s response (dated 5/21/2021) below for the benefit of the club and the general public.

When you go through security at the airport, tell the TSA agent you have live fish and you that you need a “hand check”. If the agent might already be familiar with the policy if you’re flying from an event where many people are bringing home fish. If the agent is not familiar with the policy, it’s likely you’ll need to request a supervisor to help. It’s a very good idea to have a printed copy of TSA’s regulations on live fish

Policy and Procedures

TSOs Have Discretion

TSA Officers have the discretion to prohibit any item through the screening checkpoint or onboard an aircraft if they believe it poses a security threat. This discretion applies even if the item is not on the prohibited items list. The permitted and prohibited items lists are not intended to be all-inclusive. You may ask to speak to a supervisor at any time.

For travel tips and information about our screening procedures and what you can bring, please visit

Plants and Animals

Pet Fish

You may travel with live fish in your carry-on bag. The fish must be swimming in water that is contained in a clear, spill-proof glass or plastic container. The container may be larger than 3.4 ounces. TSA Officers will visually inspect the fish at the screening checkpoint. If the fish is observed as alive and swimming, it will be permitted through the checkpoint. We recommend contacting your airline to inquire about any additional guidelines they may have for traveling with live fish.  

For travel tips and information about our screening procedures and what you can bring, please visit


What Can I Bring

We have developed a tool to assist you in determining if an item may be taken onboard an aircraft. The What Can I Bring? tool will tell you if the item can be taken in checked or carry-on baggage or if there are special instructions. Please visit

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