FISH AND BOAT COMMISSION
[58 PA. CODE CH. 63]
Fishing; General Fishing Regulations
[53 Pa.B. 2048]
[Saturday, April 15, 2023]
The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) proposes to amend Chapter 63 (relating to general fishing regulations). The Commission is publishing this proposed rulemaking under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to Fish and Boat Code) (code). The proposed amendment updates the Commission's regulations pertaining to the fees of fishing licenses and permits.
A. Effective Date
This proposed rulemaking, if approved on final-form rulemaking, will go into effect on December 1, 2023.
B. Contact Person
For further information on this proposed rulemaking, contact Robert T. Caccese, Esq., P.O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000, (717) 705-7810. This proposed rulemaking is available on the Commission's web site at www.fishandboat.com.
C. Statutory Authority
The proposed amendment to § 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 proposed amendment is described in more detail under the summary of proposal.
E. Summary of Proposal
The 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.
The Commission has two legislatively authorized special funds: the Fish Fund and 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, and these fees account for more than 67% of Fish Fund revenues.
Commission staff regularly monitor 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 this Commonwealth's aquatic resources.
An adjustment to the fees for fishing licenses and permits is needed to cope with inflationary pressures, maintain and improve existing programs, and to 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.
• Upgrades and replacement of equipment, vehicles and watercraft for customer and employee safety and for sustained service delivery.
• Aquatic resource field and classroom education and angler information programs.
• Conservation law enforcement.
• Maintaining operations and offsetting inflationary and supply chain constraint costs.
If new revenues are not in place for the 2024 license year, the Commission will not be able to maintain adequate levels of services to this Commonwealth's anglers, let alone respond to anglers' desires for expanded efforts in many program areas.
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:
Fee License Category Current Charge Proposed Resident Annual $23.50 $2.50 $26 Nonresident Annual $55 $4 $59 Senior Resident Annual $11.25 $1.25 $12.50 Senior Resident Lifetime $75 $10 $85 3-Day Tourist $27.50 $2.50 $30 7-Day Tourist $35 $2.50 $37.50 1-Day Resident $11.25 $1.25 $12.50 1-Day Tourist $27.50 $2.50 $30 Trout Permit $10.50 $2.50 $13 Trout/Lake Erie Permit $16.50 $2.50 $19
This proposed rulemaking will not increase paperwork and will not create new paperwork requirements.
G. Fiscal Impact
This proposed rulemaking will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. This proposed rulemaking will increase fees for license and permit buyers as outlined in the summary of proposal.
H. Public Comments
Interested persons are invited to submit written comments, objections or suggestions about this proposed rulemaking to the Executive Director, Fish and Boat Commission, P.O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000, within 30 days after publication of this notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted.
Comments also may be submitted electronically to RAemail@example.com. Electronic comments submitted in any other manner will not be accepted.
TIMOTHY D. SCHAEFFER,
(Editor's Note: See 53 Pa.B. 2150 (April 15, 2023) for a notice relating to this proposed rulemaking.)
Fiscal Note: 48A-343. No fiscal impact; recommends adoption.
TITLE 58. RECREATION
PART II. FISH AND BOAT COMMISSION
Subpart B. FISHING
CHAPTER 63. GENERAL FISHING REGULATIONS
§ 63.57. License, permit and issuing 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] $26.
(2) Senior Resident Annual Fishing License, [$11.25] $12.50.
(3) Senior Resident Lifetime Fishing License, [$75] $85.
(4) Nonresident Annual Fishing License, [$55] $59.
(5) Seven-Day Tourist Fishing License, [$35] $37.50.
(6) Three-Day Tourist Fishing License, [$27.50] $30.
(7) One-Day Resident Fishing License, [$11.25] $12.50.
(8) One-Day Tourist Fishing License, [$27.50] $30.
(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] $13.
(2) Combination trout permit and Lake Erie permit, [$16.50] $19.
(c) Effective date. The fees imposed under subsections (a) and (b) are effective beginning December [31, 2022] 1, 2023.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 23-491. Filed for public inspection April 14, 2023, 9:00 a.m.]
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