PA Officials reel back fishing license requirements

David Heilman, North Campus Staff

Pennsylvania fishers will no longer have to display their fishing licenses on their outerwear. At the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s Board (PFBC) quarterly meeting, a vote was passed to remove the longstanding requirement.
With the new amendment fishers will only be required to carry the license on their person, and present it to enforcement officers upon request.
The changes were made with the mindset of convenience states Tim Schaeffer Executive director of PFBC in a press release announcing the changes.
“By allowing people to simply carry their license in a pocket or in their wallet, rather than pinning it to an outer garment, we hope to hear about fewer licenses being lost and the cost associated with replacing them,” says Schaeffer. “It also provides greater consistency with the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s hunting license display requirement, so it should prevent any further confusion among hunters and anglers.”
Pennsylvania fishers will have the added convenience of receiving a digital copy of their license if purchased online. In the event a license is lost the owner can simply print a new copy at home rather than pay for a replacement.
All effects will take effect when posted on the Pennsylvania Bulletin which can be found online at

Changes were also made in collaboration with the Boating Advisory Board to the enforcement of Motorboat Noise Control.
The changes will cause enforcement to be less subjective and more enforceable through a highly defined set of standards.
Changes have also been made to Walleye seasonal opening days maintain regulatory consistency, Lake Erie, Lake tributaries, Presque Isle Bay, and peninsular water were scheduled to coincide with Commonwealth Inland Waters (Jan. 1 – Mar. 14, 2020; and 12:01 a.m. on the first Saturday in May to midnight, Dec. 31, 2020).
Commissioners also approved the designation of 36 stream sections to the list of Class A wild trout streams, 49 additional waters Commission’s list of wild trout streams.
A list of waters proposed for wild trout stream and Class A Wild Trout Stream designation can be found on the PFBC website.
The Board approved the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking containing an amendment to regulations regarding the importation of Tautog into the Commonwealth. According to the PFBC Tautag, also known as Blackfish, or Tog are a “popular coastal Atlantic Ocean recreational marine species”. They are currently prohibited to be imported, sold, or purchased when measuring in under 15 inches in length. The proposed amendment adds an additional requirement that all Tautog possessed for commercial purposes or sold in Pennsylvania should be properly tagged with a serial numbered metal band on the gill cover, as approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.
This year, the annual Fishing Summary book of regulations is available for free through issuing agents. The book is also free to view, download or print on the PFBC website and through the FishBoatPA mobile app.