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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 21-108




[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 51 ]

General Provisions; Administrative Provisions

[51 Pa.B. 427]
[Saturday, January 23, 2021]

 The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) amends Chapter 51 (relating to administrative provisions). The Commission is publishing this final-form rulemaking under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to Fish and Boat Code) (code). The amendments update the Commission's regulations for display of permits.

A. Effective Date

 This final-form rulemaking will go into effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

B. Contact Person

 For further information on this final-form rulemaking, contact Wayne Melnick, Esq., P.O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000, (717) 705-7810. This final-form rulemaking is available on the Commission's web site at

C. Statutory Authority

 The amendments to §§ 51.123 and 51.127 (relating to display of permits; and fishing license and permits) are published under the statutory authority of section 2907.3 of the code (relating to fishing guide and charter boat permits).

D. Purpose and Background

 The specific purpose and background of the amendments are described in more detail under the summary of changes.

E. Summary of Changes

 As the Commission continues to modernize its business practices, several permit application procedures have been evaluated. An internal review of the Charter Boat/Fishing Guide permit application process revealed that the customer and the Commission would benefit greatly by handling the permitting process online.

 Currently, to secure or purchase a permit, a written application, payment and numerous other supporting documents must be provided to the Commission for review, approval and processing. Once received by the Commission, it generally takes about 30 days to issue a permit, which is then mailed to the permittee.

 The proposed plan moving forward is to allow application for and issuance of the permit online, exclusively through the Outdoor Shop. Waterways Conservations Officers would verify applicant provided information during standard field checks. As part of this transition, the requirement to display a guide sticker on the boat would be removed. Permits would be fulfilled at the point of purchase. The 30-day wait time for a permit and the time and expense associated with preparing a paper application would be eliminated. Through the automation process, the Commission would substantially lower the cost to review and issue a permit and would eliminate the cost of producing and mailing permits, identification decals, patches and other informational materials.

 An additional change to § 51.127 would require an individual guiding on Commonwealth waters to have Commission issued fishing licenses and permits. Under the current language, a loophole was created that allows some nonresidents to guide on Commonwealth waters utilizing their out-of-State license with a Pennsylvania nonresident guide permit.

 The Commission therefore amends §§ 51.123 and 51.127 to read as set forth in the proposed rulemaking published at 50 Pa.B. 5269 (September 26, 2020).

F. Paperwork

 This final-form rulemaking will not increase paperwork and will not create new paperwork requirements.

G. Fiscal Impact

 This final-form rulemaking will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions.

H. Public Comments

 A notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 50 Pa.B. 5269. The Commission did not receive any public comments regarding the proposal.


 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), known as the Commonwealth Documents Law, and the regulations promulgated thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2 (relating to notice of proposed rulemaking required; and adoption of regulations).

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

 (3) The adoption of the amendments of 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 Chapter 51, are amended by amending §§ 51.123 and 51.127 to read as set forth at 50 Pa.B. 5269.

 (B) The Executive Director will submit this order and 50 Pa.B. 5269 to the Office of Attorney General for approval as to legality and form as required by law.

 (C) The Executive Director shall certify this order and 50 Pa.B. 5269 and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

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

Executive Director

Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48A-302 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 21-108. Filed for public inspection January 22, 2021, 9:00 a.m.]

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