Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin

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

The Pennsylvania Bulletin website includes the following: Rulemakings by State agencies; Proposed Rulemakings by State agencies; State agency notices; the Governor’s Proclamations and Executive Orders; Actions by the General Assembly; and Statewide and local court rules.

PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 23-395




[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 141 ]

Hunting and Trapping; General

[53 Pa.B. 1669]
[Saturday, March 25, 2023]

 To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) at its January 28, 2023, meeting amends § 141.6 (relating to illegal devices) to allow the use of body gripping traps with a spread larger than 6 1/2" × 6 1/2" for river otters.

 This final-form rulemaking will not have an adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.

 The authority for this final-form rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).

 Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 52 Pa.B. 6871 (November 5, 2022).

1. Purpose and Authority

 Section 141.6 formerly stated that ''It is unlawful to. . .[u]se body gripping traps with a spread larger than 6 1/2" × 6 1/2" for a furbearer except beaver.'' While the Commission has permitted the use of body gripping traps for otter trapping since the creation of the season, use was limited up to the 6 1/2" × 6 1/2" maximum size. The Commission amends § 141.6 to allow the use of body gripping traps with a spread larger than 6 1/2" × 6 1/2" for river otters as well. The Commission has determined that there are no significant biological concerns with this change.

 Section 2102(d) of the code (relating to regulations) authorizes the Commission to ''promulgate regulations stipulating the size and type of traps, the type of firearms and ammunition and other devices which may be used, the manner in which and the location where the devices may be used, the species the devices may be used for and the season when the devices may be used.'' The amendments to § 141.6 are adopted under this authority.

2. Regulatory Requirements

 This final-form rulemaking amends § 141.6 to allow the use of body gripping traps with a spread larger than 6 1/2" × 6 1/2" for river otters.

3. Persons Affected

 Persons wishing to use body gripping traps with a spread larger than 6 1/2" × 6 1/2" to harvest an otter will be affected by this final-form rulemaking.

4. Comment and Response Summary

 There were no official comments received regarding this final-form rulemaking.

5. Cost and Paperwork Requirements

 This final-form rulemaking should not result in any additional cost or paperwork.

6. Effective Date

 This final-form rulemaking will be effective upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.

7. Contact Person

 For further information regarding this final-form rulemaking, contact Jason L. DeCoskey, Director, Bureau of Wildlife Protection, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.


 The Commission finds that:

 (1) Public notice of intention to adopt the administrative 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), referred to as the Commonwealth Documents Law, and the regulations thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2 (relating to notice of proposed rulemaking required; and adoption of regulations).

 (2) The adoption of the amendments of the Commission in the manner provided in this order is necessary and appropriate for the administration and enforcement of the authorizing statute.


 The Commission, acting under authorizing statute, orders that:

 (a) The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapter 141, are amended by amending § 141.6 to read as set forth in Annex A, with ellipses referring to the text of the existing regulations.

 (b) The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

 (c) This order shall become effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Executive Director

Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48-488 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.

Annex A




Subchapter A. GENERAL

§ 141.6. Illegal devices.

 It is unlawful to:

*  *  *  *  *

 (2) Use snares to take wildlife or furbearers except beavers may be taken with snares completely or partially submerged in water in a waterway or watercourse, marsh, pond or dam.

 (3) Use body gripping traps with a spread larger than 6 1/2" × 6 1/2" for any furbearer, except beaver and otter.

 (4) Use a cage or box trap capable of catching more than one furbearer at a time.

*  *  *  *  *

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 23-395. Filed for public inspection March 24, 2023, 9:00 a.m.]

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 Bulletin 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.