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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 22-2027




[58 PA. CODE CH. 63]

Fishing; General Fishing Regulations

[52 Pa.B. 8234]
[Saturday, December 31, 2022]

 The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) amends Chapter 63 (relating to general fishing regulations). The Commission is publishing this final-form rulemaking under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to Fish and Boat Code) (code). The amendment updates the Commission's regulations pertaining to the fees of fishing licenses, permits and boat registrations.

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 Vienna Vasquez, 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 addition of § 63.57 (relating to license, permit and issuing agent fees) is published under the statutory authority of section 322.1 of the code (relating to power to set fees).

D. Purpose and Background

 The specific purpose and background of the addition is described in more detail under the summary of changes.

E. Summary of Changes

 This Commonwealth's fishing and boating programs are paid for by anglers and boaters through the User Pays, User Benefits Model, primarily from the sale of fishing licenses, permits and boat registrations. Fee levels for these items have not changed since 2005.

 The Commission has two legislatively authorized Special Funds, the Fish Fund and the Boat Fund. These Funds receive money mainly from fishing license and permit fees, boat registration fees, fines and penalties, tax refunds of motorboat fuel and Federal funds.

 By far, the largest source of revenue for the Fish Fund is from fishing license and permit fees. Since Fiscal Year (FY) 2005, these fees accounted for more than 67% of Fish Fund revenues.

 Over a 16-year period (2005 to 2021), fishing license and permit fee revenues have remained relatively flat at about $25 million per year on average. While the revenue derived from license and permit fees paid by anglers has remained stagnant, costs have not. Annual Fish Fund expenditures have increased from $34.5 million in FY 2005 to $41.6 million in FY 2020.

 The Commission regularly monitors the status and fiscal health of the Fish Fund to ensure that adequate funds are available to maintain and support programs designed to meet the expectations of anglers and other users of aquatic resources in this Commonwealth.

 An adjustment to the fees for fishing licenses and permits is needed to cope with inflationary pressures, maintain and improve existing programs and address and meet anglers and boaters' desires for:

 • Strategic and timely fisheries management to protect, conserve and enhance the aquatic resources of this Commonwealth.

 • Critical infrastructure improvements and maintenance efforts for State fish hatcheries, hazardous dams, boat launch access areas and ramps and other Commission-owned facilities to improve and maintain fishing opportunities.

 • Aquatic resource field and classroom education and angler information programs.

 • Conservation law enforcement.

 If new revenues are not in place for the 2023 license year, the Commission will not be able to maintain adequate levels of services to anglers in this Commonwealth, let alone respond to angler desires for expanded efforts in many program areas.

 Without additional or new revenues in the Fish Fund, and as forecasted expenditures begin to further outpace existing revenues, the Commission may need to reduce program benefits to anglers.

 To maintain adequate funding to sustain these important programs and invest in the future, the Commission is seeking a modest fee increase for all fishing license and permit categories as shown in the following table:

License Category   Current   Change   Proposed
Resident Annual$21$2.50$23.50
Nonresident Annual$51$4$55
Senior Resident Annual$10$1.25$11.25
Senior Resident Lifetime $50$25$75
3-Day Tourist$25$2.50$27.50
7-Day Tourist$33$2$35
1-Day Resident$10$1.25$11.25
1-Day Tourist$25$2.50$27.50
Trout Permit $8$2.50$10.50
Combination Trout/
Lake Erie Permit

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. This final-form rulemaking will increase fees for license and permit buyers as outlined in the summary of changes.

H. Public Comments

 A notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 52 Pa.B. 3984 (July 16, 2022). The Commission received a total of seven public comments regarding the proposed rulemaking. Six comments supported the proposed rulemaking and one comment opposed the proposed rulemaking. On July 25, 2022, the Commission held a public hearing on the proposed rulemaking. Three presenters provided testimony and all of the presenters supported the proposal.


 The Commission finds that:

 (1) Public notice of intention to adopt the amendment 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), referred to 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 a total of seven comments were received. Six comments supported the proposal and one comment opposed the proposal. A public hearing was provided where three additional comments supporting the proposal 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 63, are amended by adding § 63.57 to read as set forth in Annex A

 (B) The Executive Director will submit this order and Annex A 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 Annex A 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-334 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.

Annex A





§ 63.57. License, permit and issuig agent fees.

 a. License fees. The following fees apply to fishing licenses issued under this chapter and shall be paid into the Fish Fund:

 (1) Resident Annual Fishing License, $23.50.

 (2) Senior Resident Annual Fishing License, $11.25.

 (3) Senior Resident Lifetime Fishing License, $75.

 (4) Nonresident Annual Fishing License, $55.

 (5) Seven-Day Tourist Fishing License, $35.

 (6) Three-Day Tourist Fishing License, $27.50.

 (7) One-Day Resident Fishing License, $11.25.

 (8) One-Day Tourist Fishing License, $27.50.

 (b) Permit fees. The following fees apply to permits issued under this chapter and shall be paid into the Fish Fund:

 (1) Trout permits, $10.50.

 (2) Combination trout permit and Lake Erie permit, $16.50.

 (c) Effective date. The fees imposed under subsections (a) and (b) are effective beginning December 31, 2022.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 22-2027. Filed for public inspection December 30, 2022, 9:00 a.m.]

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