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.
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.