Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 51 Pa.B. 1118 (February 27, 2021).

58 Pa. Code § 61.1. Commonwealth inland waters.

§ 61.1. Commonwealth inland waters.

 (a)  It is unlawful to take, catch, kill or possess fish except during the seasons specified in this section. It is not a violation of this section if a fish caught out of season from water where fishing for other species is lawful is immediately returned unharmed to the waters from which it was taken.

 (b)  It is unlawful to take, catch, kill or possess fish of less than the minimum size specified in this section. It is not a violation of this section if an undersized fish taken from waters where fishing is otherwise lawful is immediately returned unharmed to the waters from which it was taken.

 (c)  It is unlawful to take, catch or kill more than 1 day’s limit of any species of fish as specified in the following chart during 1 calendar day. It is unlawful to possess more than 1 day’s limit of any species of fish as specified in the following chart except under the following circumstances:

   (1)  A person may possess any number of lawfully caught fish at the person’s residence.

   (2)  A person who is engaged in a fishing trip away from home for 2 or more consecutive calendar days may, while transporting fish from the place where caught to his residence, possess a number of fish equal to no more than two times the daily creel limit for that species of fish. In prosecution for violation of this section, it shall be a rebuttable presumption that a person transporting fish from a fishing site caught all of the fish during 1 calendar day.

   (3)  A fish will not be considered to be caught in violation of this section if it is immediately returned unharmed to the waters from which it was taken.

   (4)  Any fish caught that is not to be counted in the creel limit shall be immediately released unharmed into the water from which taken. Except as otherwise provided in §  53.24 or §  63.40 (relating to tournament and fishing derby permits; and fishing tournaments and fishing derbies), a fish placed on a stringer, or confined by any type of container, structure or device, or not returned immediately to the water, will be considered as part of the daily creel or possession limits. Fish returned to the water shall be handled carefully and be returned unharmed to the water from which taken.

   (5)  Fish may be given to another person, but the fish shall be counted in the donor’s creel limit and neither donor nor the recipient may kill or possess (while in the act of fishing) more than the limit allowed.

 (d)  Except as otherwise provided in this subpart, the following seasons, sizes and creel limits apply to inland waters of this Commonwealth and the Youghiogheny Reservoir:

MINIMUM
DAILY
SPECIESSEASONS
SIZE
LIMIT
ALL SPECIES OF TROUT AND SALMON (except  landlocked Atlantic salmon)Regular Season: 8 a.m. first Saturday after April 11 to midnight Labor Day7 inches5 (combined species) except areas with special regulations (see Chapter 65 (relating to special fishing regulations))
Extended Season: Stocked trout waters and all waters downstream of stocked trout waters 7 inches3 (combined species), except Class A wild trout streams, where the daily limit is 0, and areas with special regulations (see Chapter 65)
12:01 a.m. day after Labor Day to midnight last day of February of the following year
AMERICAN EELOpen year-round9 inches25
BASS—Largemouth and Smallmouth and Spotted
Lakes:January 1 to midnight the day before first Saturday after April 11 and November 1 to midnight December 31** 15 inches4 (combined species from all habitats)
12:01 a.m. the first Saturday after April 11 to 12:01 a.m. the first Saturday after June 11NO HARVEST—Catch and immediate release only (No Tournaments Permitted)
12:01 a.m. the first Saturday after June 11 to midnight October 3112 inches6 (combined species)
BASS—Largemouth and Smallmouth and Spotted
Rivers and Streams*:January 1 to midnight the day before the first Saturday after April 11 and October 1 to midnight December 31**15 inches4 (combined species)
12:01 a.m. the first Saturday after April 11 to 12:01 a.m. the first Saturday after June 11NO HARVEST—Catch and immediate release only (No Tournaments Permitted)
12:01 a.m. the first Saturday after June 11 to midnight September 3012 inches6 (combined species)
MUSKELLUNGE  and MUSKELLUNGE HYBRIDS Open year-round 40 inches1
PICKEREL 18 inches4
NORTHERN PIKE 24 inches2
WALLEYE  and hybrids (Saugeye) January 1—March 14; and 12:01 a.m. first Saturday in May to midnight, December 3115 inches6
SAUGER12 inches6
AMERICAN SHAD***Open year-roundNo minimum3
HICKORY SHAD***Closed year-round 0
GIZZARD SHADOpen year-roundNo minimum50
RIVER HERRING (alewife and blueback herring)***Open year-roundNo minimum50
STRIPED BASS and STRIPED BASS/WHITE BASS HYBRIDSOpen year-round20 inches2 (combined species)
SUNFISH, YELLOW PERCH, CRAPPIES, CATFISH, ROCK BASS, SUCKERS, CARP, WHITE BASS AND OTHER GAMEFISH NOT OTHERWISE LISTEDOpen year-roundNo minimum50 (combined species)
BAIT FISH FISH BAIT except American eel, mud bugs, mussels/clams and crayfishOpen year-roundNo minimum50 (combined species)
MUD BUGS (dragonfly nymphs)Open year-roundNo minimumUnlimited if taken from lakes, ponds, swamps and adjacent areas; 50 per day if taken from moving waters (rivers and streams)
MUSSELS/CLAMSClosed year-round0
PADDLEFISHClosed year-round0
CRAYFISH (ALL SPECIES)Open year-round50. The head must be immediately removed behind the eyes upon capture unless used as bait in the water from which taken.

   *For purposes of this subsection, power dam pools and recreational dam pools on the Susquehanna River and navigational dam pools in the Ohio drainage are ‘‘rivers.’’ **Note: Stocked trout waters are closed to all fishing from March 1 to the first Saturday after April 11 unless included in the Regional Opening Day of Trout Season Program (see §  65.12 (relating to regional opening day of trout season)). Waters included in the Regional Opening Day of Trout Season Program are closed to all fishing from March 1 to the first Saturday after March 28. *** Note: Unlawful to take, catch or kill American shad, hickory shad and river herring (alewife and blueback herring) in Susquehanna River and its tributaries. See § §  61.4 and 61.7 (relating to Conowingo Reservoir; and Susquehanna River and tributaries).

Authority

   The provisions of this §  61.1 issued under the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S. § §  741, 928 and 2102; amended under the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S. § §  2102 and 5122—5124.

Source

   The provisions of this §  61.1 amended July 18, 1986, effective July 19, 1986, 16 Pa.B. 2644; amended March 13, 1987, effective March 14, 1987, 17 Pa.B. 1084; amended February 8, 1991, effective February 9, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 498; amended February 12, 1993, effective February 13, 1993, 23 Pa.B. 739; amended March 10, 1995, effective March 11, 1995, 25 Pa.B. 834; amended November 22, 1996, effective January 1, 1997, 26 Pa.B. 5701; amended March 7, 1997, effective March 8, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 1155; amended October 31, 1997, effective November 1, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 5605; amended October 9, 1998, effective October 10, 1998, 28 Pa.B. 5103; amended July 9, 1999, effective July 10, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 3626; amended August 27, 1999, effective January 1, 2000, 29 Pa.B. 4561; amended February 18, 2000, effective February 19, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 870; amended September 29, 2000, effective September 30, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 5013; amended April 19, 2002, effective April 20, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 1962; amended November 15, 2002, effective November 16, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 5658; amended November 24, 2004, effective January 1, 2005, 34 Pa.B. 6328; amended September 22, 2006, effective January 1, 2007, 36 Pa.B. 5872; amended September 29, 2006, effective January 1, 2007, 36 Pa.B. 5976; amended July 2, 2010, effective July 3, 2010, 40 Pa.B. 3663; amended December 17, 2010, effective December 18, 2010, 40 Pa.B. 7233; amended October 7, 2011, effective January 1, 2012, 41 Pa.B. 5365; amended July 3, 2014, effective January 1, 2015, 44 Pa.B. 4177; amended August 8, 2014, effective August 9, 2014, 44 Pa.B. 5336; amended September 19, 2014, effective January 1, 2015, 44 Pa.B. 5969; amended September 25, 2015, effective January 1, 2016, 45 Pa.B. 5788. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (376443) to (376444), (373641) to (373642) and (372945).

Cross References

   This section cited in 58 Pa. Code §  61.2 (relating to Delaware River, West Branch Delaware River and River Estuary); 58 Pa. Code §  61.7 (relating to Susquehanna River and tributaries); 58 Pa. Code §  61.8 (relating to Lehigh River, Schuylkill River and tributaries); 58 Pa. Code §  63.3 (relating to fishing in stocked trout waters); 58 Pa. Code §  63.48 (relating to permit for the use of cast nets or throw nets); 58 Pa. Code §  65.24 (relating to miscellaneous special regulations); and 58 Pa. Code §  69.12 (relating to seasons, sizes and creel limits—Lake Erie).



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