WEST virginia Legislature
2017 regular session
House Bill 2693
By Delegates Hamilton, A. Evans, Paynter, Ambler, Butler, R. Romine, Lewis, Rodighiero, Eldridge, Baldwin and Hornbuckle
[Introduced February 24,
to the Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §20-2-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to state ownership of wildlife.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §20-2-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. WILDLIFE RESOURCES.
§20-2-3. State ownership of wildlife.
The ownership of and title
wild animals, wild birds, both migratory and resident, and all fish,
amphibians, and all forms of aquatic life wildlife in the State of
West Virginia is hereby declared to be in the state, as trustee for the people.
No such wildlife shall be taken or hunted in any manner, or at any time, unless
the person so taking or hunting the same shall consent that the title thereto
shall be and remain in the State of West Virginia for the purpose of regulating
the taking, hunting, using and disposing of the same. The taking or hunting of
wildlife at any time or in any manner by any person shall be deemed such
consent: Provided, That, all fish, frogs and other aquatic life in
privately-owned ponds are, and shall remain, the private property of the owner
or owners of such privately-owned ponds, and that such fish, frogs and other
aquatic life in such privately-owned ponds may be caught, taken or killed by
such owner or owners at any time.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to make the definition of wildlife consistent with the existing definition of wildlife contained in WV Code §20-1-2.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.