Pennsylvania anglers will see a fishing license increase beginning in 2023.
At their recent special meeting, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) Board of Commissioners gave final approval to a list of proposed fee adjustments for fishing licenses and various other licenses and permits.
Under the proposal, a Resident Annual Fishing License, Trout Permit, and Combination Trout/Lake Erie Permit, would increase by $2.50 each in 2023. This marks the first fee increase since 2005.
According to the PFBC, separate increases would be applied to other license and permit categories for non-resident, seniors and tourists. Revenues from this increase are expected to generate an estimated $2.5 million annually for the PFBC’s Fish Fund to support fishing related programs.
The Board also gave approval to fee increases associated with several categories of boat titles, licenses and permits. These fees would be related to the issuing of title certificates, cast net permits and penalties for uncollectable checks, all of which haven’t been updated since the ‘80s or ‘90s, says the agency.
Revenues from these fee increases would generate an estimated $30,000 annually for the Fish Fund and $1.2 million for the PFBCs Boat Fund to support boating related programs.
In other news from the PFBC, an upcoming meeting of the Fisheries and Hatcheries Committee is set to discuss a proposal to create a fish stocking authorization program and enhanced protections against the spread aquatic invasive species such as Gill Lice and Mudsnails, and to simplify the code.
The purpose of the proposal is to create a simple, no-fee, user-friendly stocking authorization process through which anyone stocking fish within Pennsylvania waters, would be required to obtain authorization from the PFBC before stocking. The intent is to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and the introduction of new aquatic pathogens that could affect the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources, claims the PFBC. Commercial fish producers would also be required to test certain fish imported into Pennsylvania for disease before stocking in areas where those diseases do not occur.
To further prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by boats, the proposal includes new watercraft inspection requirements. Under the plan, boaters (with limited exceptions for fishing tournaments), would be required to drain live wells and bilges before transporting their watercraft away from the water on which they were boating.
We’ll keep you posted if and when this latter proposal is passed.
With the Dog Days of Summer upon us, local freshwater fishing is slow due to high day time temperatures. But it’s hot at Jersey shore points.
Our fishing reporters from On the Water Magazine report that boat anglers are catching more and bigger fluke. Schools of blues too are popping up off the Jersey beaches as are crabs. In addition, snappers are in rivers and bays with Spanish mackerel, bonito, triggerfish, cobia and kingfish also being caught.
My ole buddy Capt. Phil Sciortino at the Tackle Box in Hazlet, says anglers are still catching plenty of good eating fluke in the surf by floating killies under a bobber. He adds that cobia are being caught by boaters live lining bunker and crabbing is good around Raritan Bay with snappers being hooked there as well.
If you’re an avid hunter, consider taking a hunt without a bow or firearm. It may pay off.
We’re referring to hunting with a metal detector. And it could be lucrative if discovering artifacts, antiques, coins, old jewelry or relics that remain in the ground of various areas.
To get started in treasure hunting, you’ll obviously need a metal detector, a flat blade screwdriver or garden trowel. Experienced detectorists use an 8-inch long digging tool often called a pin-pointer. In addition, it would help to wear a carpenter’s apron to stow your finds.
For more information on metal detectors I asked Josh Lantz, of Traditions Media, who represents Vanquish and Equinox metal detectors, the two most popular brands on the market. Said Lantz, “The Vanquish brand offers consumer friendly pricing and they’re popular choices for beginning and novice detectorists. The Equinox Series detectors are, for example, the lightest, very powerful and easiest to use out of the box.”
Lantz goes on to say that once you have the detector and equipment, you’re ready to start. And the first place to start is by practicing in your own yard. If it’s 25 years or older, it could possibly contain lost coins, toys and other metal items for you to find.
To get more practice with the device, he recommends burying some coins, old jewelry, nails, bottle caps or other metal objects in the ground and at various depths. When doing so, each item can be marked with a piece of paper containing the name of the object and depth at which it was buried. Practice detecting each item and take note of the sound each item makes as well as the numeric value your detector is returning on the screen. He says that it won’t take long for you to gain confidence in knowing what your detector is telling you.
“You’ll quickly learn what common items like pennies, quarters, nails, bottle caps, pull tabs and rings look like on your detector. It’s a fun process that will give you more confidence and save you a lot of time you’d otherwise spend digging. Once you find an object and retrieve it, always fill in your dig hole,” said Lantz.
Upon gaining experience it’s time to take your detector to other places like parks, fields, creek banks and if going to the shore, sandy beaches that are always a great place to find items buried in the sand.
Find Civil War relics and they could be worth major money. You could also help a friend find lost property like my neighbor did some years back. A lady who lives a block away lost her engagement ring while walking her dog along my neighbor’s grassy strip behind his house. She knocked on his door to tell him if he should find a ring in his yard, it was hers. My neighbor got out his metal detector and scanned his grass and found the ring in three-inch deep grass.
Unlike hunting and fishing, metal detecting can be done almost any time of the year and there’s no license required. Best of all, the rewards are real and the treasures you find are yours to keep.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.