Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

• No statutes or acts will be found at this website.

The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 51 Pa.B. 6892 (October 30, 2021).

58 Pa. Code § 63.40. Fishing tournaments and fishing derbies.

§ 63.40. Fishing tournaments and fishing derbies.

 (a)  Definitions. The following terms, when used in this section, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Fishing tournament—An organized competitive fishing event, other than a fishing derby, where ten or more individuals fish during a specified time period. An activity that involves one or more of the following factors is considered a fishing tournament:

     (i)   The event is sponsored or promoted by an individual or organization.

     (ii)   The event involves the award of trophies, prizes or other recognition for participation in the tournament.

     (iii)   The event is conducted during a distinct time period (usually 72 hours or less) on a particular body of water.

   Fishing derby—An organized event involving 10 or more participants conducted for children under the age of 16, senior citizens (as defined in section 2701 of the code (relating to definitions)), anglers with disabilities, special populations or other group when the principal purpose is education or enjoyment, rather than competition among anglers.

 (b)  Permits. It is unlawful to conduct a fishing tournament on Commonwealth waters without obtaining a special activity permit under this section.

   (1)  Content of application. An application for a special activity permit for a fishing tournament shall contain the following information:

     (i)   The date, time and place.

     (ii)   The nature of the proposed tournament.

     (iii)   The anticipated number of participants and watercraft.

     (iv)   The proposed disposition of fish caught.

     (v)   The species and source of fish sought.

     (vi)   Whether or not the sponsor charges an entry fee.

   (2)  Deadline for submission. The deadline for submission of applications for special activity permits for fishing tournaments shall be as follows:

     (i)   For tournaments involving 50 or more boats, the application shall be submitted after October 1 and before December 1 of the year prior to the year of the proposed tournaments.

     (ii)   For tournaments involving 49 or less boats or fishing from shore, the application shall be submitted at least 60 days prior to the date of the proposed tournament.

     (iii)   The Commission may consider applications for tournaments submitted after the deadlines established by this section.

   (3)  Review of applications.

     (i)   The Commission staff will review applications for special activity permits to conduct fishing tournaments on Commonwealth waters and will endeavor to issue or deny permits within 45 days after the receipt of the application. The factors to be reviewed include:

       (A)   Whether the proposed tournament at the proposed time and location will have adverse impacts on the protection and management of fish in the waters to be fished in connection with the tournament.

       (B)   Whether the proposed tournament at the proposed time and location will impede or reduce fishing and boating opportunities for members of the angling and boating public who are not participants in the tournament.

       (C)   Whether the proposed tournament is scheduled on the opening weekend of the season for any species of game fish.

       (D)   Whether the proposed tournament at the proposed time and location competes with another tournament already permitted for the same time and place. In the event of competing applications, a fishing tournament where fish are intended to be released alive shall be given preference over a fishing tournament where fish are intended to be killed or taken.

       (E)   Whether the proposed tournament at the proposed time and location may result in congestion of watercraft on the waters of this Commonwealth.

       (F)   Whether the sponsors of the proposed tournament have demonstrated their ability to conduct the tournament in accordance with this title and the conditions of the permit.

     (ii)   If the Bureau of Law Enforcement determines to deny the application for the special activity permit for a fishing tournament, it will notify the applicant in writing of the denial and the reasons. The applicant may, within 10 days of notification, request the Executive Director to reconsider the denial of the permit. The Executive Director will act on the request for reconsideration within 10 days of its receipt. If the Executive Director denies the permit after reconsideration, the applicant may appeal to the Commission under 1 Pa. Code §  35.20 (relating to appeals from actions of staff).

   (4)  Permit conditions. The Bureau of Law Enforcement may impose conditions in connection with the issuance of a permit under this section. The conditions may include:

     (i)   Limitations on the numbers of boats or participants in the tournament when the number of boats or participants involved in the proposed tournament exceeds the capacity of the waters being fished taking into account other permitted activities at the same time and place.

     (ii)   Limitations on the time or duration of the tournament. When reasonably necessary and appropriate to provide for protection of fish, the Commission may, for tournaments conducted during the months of July and August, include a condition limiting the duration of the tournament to no more than 10 hours of fishing.

     (iii)   Limitations on taking, catching, possessing and killing fish, including, when necessary for the protection and management of fish, requiring that the tournament be conducted as a catch-measure-and release or aerated livewell tournament.

     (iv)   Requirements for the proper disposal of fish taken in the tournament. Tournament sponsors engaged in returning live fish to the waters of this Commonwealth after completion of a tournament may possess fish in excess of the daily possession limit if they carry the tournament permit and can document the catch of the individual tournament participants. The permit condition may provide that live fish will be distributed to the waters from which taken away from the ramp or access area where the weigh-in occurs.

     (v)   Requirements for filing of catch reports within 30 days after completion of the tournament.

     (vi)   Upon request of an applicant for a tournament permit, the Commission may include a condition providing that one or more uninjured largemouth bass, smallmouth bass or spotted bass that an angler is landing, measuring or in the process of releasing from a recirculated or aerated livewell will not be considered as part of the daily creel limit if the fish is caught during a tournament that as part of its rules penalizes the return of any dead or distressed bass to the water, requires use of recirculating or aerated temperature-controlled livewells, distributes to the contestants instructions on the proper maintenance and use of livewells and limits the fishing hours to no more than 9 hours per day. This permit condition will be included only in circumstances when the Commission finds that permitting culling will have no substantial adverse impacts on the protection and management of fish.

 (c)  Fishing derbies.

   (1)  General rule. It is unlawful to conduct a fishing derby as defined in this section on Commonwealth waters without first obtaining a special activity permit from the Commission, except that this requirement does not apply to fishing derbies to be held on privately owned lakes or ponds that are not open to the public.

   (2)  Special activity permit. An applicant for a special activity permit for a fishing derby shall apply at least 60 days before the date of the proposed derby and indicate the following:

     (i)   The date, time and place.

     (ii)   The nature of the proposed derby.

     (iii)   The anticipated number of participants and watercraft.

     (iv)   The proposed disposition of fish caught.

     (v)   The species and source of fish sought.

   (3)  Review of applications.

     (i)   The Commission staff will review applications for special activity permits to conduct fishing derbies and will endeavor to issue or deny permits within 45 days after the receipt of the application. The factors to be reviewed include:

       (A)   Whether the proposed derby at the proposed time and location will have adverse impacts on the protection and management of fish in the waters to be fished in connection with the derby.

       (B)   Whether the proposed derby at the proposed time and location will impede or reduce fishing and boating opportunities for members of the angling and boating public who are not participants in the derby.

       (C)   Whether the proposed derby is scheduled on the opening weekend of the season for any species of game fish.

       (D)   Whether the proposed derby at the proposed time and location competes with another derby or fishing tournament already permitted for the same time and place.

       (E)   Whether the proposed derby at the proposed time and location may result in unsafe congestion of watercraft on the waters of this Commonwealth.

       (F)   Whether the sponsors of the proposed derby have demonstrated their ability to conduct the derby in accordance with this title and the conditions of the permit.

     (ii)   If the Bureau of Law Enforcement determines to deny the application for the special activity permit for a fishing derby, it will notify the applicant in writing of the denial and the reasons. The applicant may, within 10 days of notification, request the Executive Director to reconsider the denial of the permit. The Executive Director will act on the request for reconsideration within 10 days of its receipt. If the Executive Director denies the permit after reconsideration, the applicant may appeal to the Commission under 1 Pa. Code §  35.20 (relating to appeals from actions of staff).

   (4)  Permit conditions. The Bureau of Law Enforcement may impose conditions in connection with the issuance of a permit under this section. The conditions may include:

     (i)   Limitations on the numbers of boats or participants in the derby when the number of boats or participants involved in the proposed derby exceeds the capacity of the waters to be fished taking into account other permitted uses of the facility at the same time.

     (ii)   Limitations on the time or duration of the derby, when reasonably necessary and appropriate to provide for the protection of fish.

     (iii)   Limitations on taking, catching, possessing and killing fish.

     (iv)   Requirements for the proper disposal of fish taken in the derby. Derby sponsors engaged in returning live fish to the waters of this Commonwealth after completion of a derby may possess fish in excess of the daily possession limit if they carry the derby permit and can document the catch of the individual derby participants. The permit condition may provide that live fish will be distributed to the waters from which taken away from the ramp or access area where the weigh-in occurs.

 (d)  Prohibited acts. It is unlawful to conduct a fishing tournament or fishing derby on Commonwealth waters except in compliance with permit conditions. It is unlawful to conduct a tournament or fishing derby on Commonwealth waters on the opening day for any species of game fish unless the applicant has made an extraordinary showing that the proposed tournament will not interfere with other fishing and boating activities and the Commission issues a special activity permit containing a specific finding, based upon the applicant’s showing, that the permitted activity will not constitute interference. It is unlawful to conduct or participate in a fishing tournament or fishing derby involving the catch or attempted catch of a particular species of fish during the closed season for that species. It is unlawful to conduct a fishing tournament on the North Branch, West Branch or main stem of the Susquehanna River that allows tournament anglers to kill black bass.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  63.40 amended under the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S. § §  322, 2102 and 2307.

Source

   The provisions of this §  63.40 adopted March 13, 1987, effective March 14, 1987, 17 Pa.B. 1088; amended November 22, 1996, effective January 1, 1997, 26 Pa.B. 5701; amended November 5, 1999, effective November 6, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 5719; amended September 9, 2005, effective September 10, 2005, 35 Pa.B. 5006; amended April 4, 2008, effective April 5, 2008, 38 Pa.B. 1584. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (261328) to (261330), (313227) to (313228) and (322893).

Cross References

   This section cited in 58 Pa. Code §  53.24 (relating to tournament and fishing derby permits); 58 Pa. Code §  61.1 (relating to Commonwealth inland waters); 58 Pa. Code §  61.2 (relating to Delaware River, West Branch Delaware River and River Estuary); 58 Pa. Code §  61.3 (relating to Pymatuning Reservoir); 58 Pa. Code §  61.4 (relating to Conowingo Reservoir); 58 Pa. Code §  65.12 (relating to regional opening day of trout season); 58 Pa. Code §  65.21 (relating to waters limited to specific purposes—exclusive use fishing areas); and 58 Pa. Code §  69.12 (relating to seasons, sizes and creel limits—Lake Erie, Lake Erie tributaries and Presque Isle Bay including peninsula waters).



No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.


This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Code full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.