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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 02-2053




[58 PA. CODE CHS. 61 AND 63]


[32 Pa.B. 5658]

   The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) by this order amends Chapters 61 and 63 (relating to seasons, sizes and creel limits; and general fishing regulations). The Commission is publishing this rulemaking under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to the Fish and Boat Code) (code).

A.  Effective Date

   This rulemaking will go into effect upon publication of an order adopting the amendments in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

B.  Contact Person

   For further information on the amendments, contact Laurie E. Shepler, Assistant Counsel, (717) 705-7815, P. O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000. This final-form rulemaking is available electronically through the Commission's website (

C.  Statutory Authority

   The amendments to §§ 61.1 and 63.3 (relating to Commonwealth inland waters; and fishing in approved trout waters) are published under the statutory authority of section 2102 of the code (relating to rules and regulations). The amendment to § 63.20 (relating to permits for the protection and management of trout and salmon) is published under the statutory authority of section 2904 of the code (relating to permits for protection and management of particular fish).

D.  Purpose and Background

   This rulemaking is designed to update, modify and improve the Commission's regulations pertaining to fishing. The specific purpose of this rulemaking is described in more detail under the summary of changes.

E.  Summary of Changes

   (1)  Section 61.1. According to this section, the extended trout season applies to ''all approved trout waters streams plus lakes and ponds.'' The ''Summary of Fishing Regulations and Laws'' (Summary Book), on the other hand, provides that the extended trout season applies to ''all approved trout streams and their downstream areas and all lakes and ponds.'' Because the current wording of § 61.1 is a bit awkward and does not include the downstream areas, the Commission amended this section as proposed.

   (2)  Sections 63.3 and 63.20. The allocation of stocked trout is a dynamic process, which has recently resulted in some changes, with some waters that were previously not to be stocked by the Commission this year having been added back to the stocking program. Under §§ 63.3 and 63.20 and § 65.26 (relating to extended trout seasons), the term ''approved trout waters'' has regulatory significance.

   (a)  Approved trout waters are closed to all fishing from March 1 to opening day. With the exception of the select trout lakes and several special cases, this means that it is illegal to fish for anything in these waters during the ''closed season.'' For waters not listed, fishing is permitted and a person does not commit a violation as long as the individual does not take, catch, kill or possess trout. (A fish returned immediately unharmed to the waters from which taken is not considered a violation.)

   (b)  The extended trout season (day after Labor Day until the last day of February of following year) applies to approved trout waters with a creel limit of three per day.

   (c)  An angler needs a trout stamp to fish in approved trout waters from opening day until the first Saturday in May regardless of what the angler says he is fishing for.

   The Commission's regulations are currently worded in a way that seems to limit the Commission's ability to add waters back to the approved trout waters list. Currently, the list is defined as the list in the Summary Book, which does not give the Commission much flexibility. Accordingly, the Commission amended §§ 63.3 and 63.20 as proposed.

F.  Paperwork

   This rulemaking will not increase paperwork and will create no new paperwork requirements.

G.  Fiscal Impact

   This rulemaking will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. This rulemaking will impose no new costs on the private sector or the general public.

H.  Public Involvement

   A notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 32 Pa.B. 3493 (July 20, 2002). The Commission did not receive any public comments regarding the proposals.


   The Commission finds that:

   (1)  Public notice of intention to adopt the amendments adopted by this order has been given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations promulgated thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.

   (2)  A public comment period was provided, and no comments were received.

   (3)  The adoption of the final-form rulemaking by the Commission in the manner provided in this order is necessary and appropriate for administration and enforcement of the authorizing statutes.


   The Commission, acting under the authorizing statutes, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapters 61 and 63, are amended by amending §§ 61.1, 63.3 and 63.20 to read as set forth at 32 Pa.B. 3493.

   (b)  The Executive Director will submit this order and 32 Pa.B. 3493 to the Office of Attorney General for approval as to legality as required by law.

   (c)  The Executive Director shall certify this order and 32 Pa.B. 3493 and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (d)  This order shall take effect immediately upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Executive Director

   Fiscal Note:  Fiscal Note 48A-129 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 02-2053. Filed for public inspection November 15, 2002, 9:00 a.m.]

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