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 § 61.2. Delaware River, West Branch Delaware River and River Estuary.

§ 61.2. Delaware River, West Branch Delaware River and River Estuary.

 (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)  A fish caught that is not to be counted in the creel limit shall be immediately released unharmed into the water from which it was 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 the donor nor the recipient may kill or possess (while in the act of fishing) more than the limit allowed.

 (d) It is unlawful to fish with bait for any species of fish in the tidal Delaware Estuary, including tributaries from the mouths of the tributaries upstream to the limit of tidal influence using any hook type other than non-offset (in-line) circle hooks. The definition of a non-offset (in-line) circle hook is a non-offset hook where the point is pointed perpendicularly back towards the shank. The term ‘‘non-offset’’ means the point and the barb are in the same plane as the shank.

 (e) The following seasons, sizes, and creel limits apply to the Delaware River, West Branch Delaware River and Delaware River tributaries, from the mouths of the tributaries upstream to the limit of the tidal influence and the Lehigh River from its mouth upstream to the first dam in Easton, Pennsylvania:

MINIMUM
SPECIES
SEASONS
SIZE
DAILY LIMIT
TROUT8 a.m., first Saturday after April 11 to midnight, October 15North of I-84: 14 inchesNorth of I-84: 1 (combined species)
South of I-84: no minimumSouth of I-84: 5 (combined species)
West Branch Delaware River:* 12 inchesWest Branch Delaware River:* 2 (combined species)
AMERICAN EELOpen year-round9 inches25
BASS  Largemouth and  SmallmouthJanuary 1 to midnight the day before the first Saturday after April 11 and 12:01 a.m. the first Saturday after June 11 to midnight December 3112 inches5 (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
MUSKELLUNGE and MUSKELLUNGE HYBRIDSOpen year-round40 inches1
PICKEREL12 inches5
WALLEYEOpen year-round on the portion of the Delaware River between New Jersey and Pennsylvania; January 1 until midnight, March 14 and 12:01 a.m. first Saturday in May until midnight December 31, on the portion of the Delaware River between New York and Pennsylvania.18 inches3
AMERICAN SHADOpen year-roundNo minimum3
HICKORY SHADClosed year-round 0
RIVER HERRING (alewife and  blueback herring)Closed year-round0
STRIPED BASS and HYBRID STRIPED BASSFrom Pennsylvania line upstream to Calhoun Street Bridge: January 1 until March 31 and June 1 until December 31. 28 to less than 35 inches 1
April 1 through May 3121 to less than 24 inches 2
From Calhoun Street Bridge upstream: open year-round 28 to less than 35 inches1
STURGEONNo open season: Endangered Species
BAIT FISH FISH BAIT, except American eel, mussels/clams and crayfishOpen year-roundNo minimum50 (combined species)
MUSSELS/CLAMSClosed year-round0
BLUE CRAB**Open year-roundHard shell: 4 inches measured point to point. Soft shell: 3.5 inches measured point to point1 bushel (combined species)
PIKE NorthernOpen year-round24 inches2
OTHER SPECIESInland seasons, size and creel limits apply except for waters under special regulations (See Chapter 65). See §  61.1 (relating to Commonwealth inland waters).
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.

   *A special no-kill artificial lures only season is in effect on the West Branch of the Delaware River from October 1 to midnight on the Friday before the first Saturday after April 11. See §  65.24. **It is unlawful for any person to possess a female crab bearing eggs from which the egg pouch or bunion has been removed.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  61.2 issued under the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S. § §  305, 322, 741, 928, 2102, 2307, 2711, 5122, 5123 and 5124; amended under the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S. §  2102.

Source

   The provisions of this §  61.2 amended December 28, 1984, effective December 29, 1984, 14 Pa.B. 4691; amended March 13, 1987, effective March 14, 1987, 17 Pa.B. 1088; amended April 29, 1988, effective April 30, 1988, 18 Pa.B. 2030; amended December 14, 1990, effective December 15, 1990, 20 Pa.B. 6182; amended February 1, 1991, effective February 2, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 422; amended February 8, 1991, effective February 9, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 498; amended September 6, 1991, effective September 7, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 3990; amended March 10, 1995, effective March 11, 1995, 25 Pa.B. 834; amended April 12, 1996, effective April 13, 1996, 26 Pa.B. 1706; amended November 22, 1996, effective January 1, 1997, 26 Pa.B. 5701; 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 February 12, 1999, effective February 13, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 819; amended June 15, 2001, effective, January 1, 2002, 31 Pa.B. 3205; amended March 7, 2003, effective March 8, 2003, 33 Pa.B. 1229; amended November 21, 2003, effective January 4, 2004, 33 Pa.B. 5705; amended September 9, 2005, effective January 1, 2006, 35 Pa.B. 5007; amended September 22, 2006, effective January 1, 2007, 36 Pa.B. 5872; amended August 31, 2007, effective January 1, 2008; amended March 6, 2009, effective April 1, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 1201; amended January 8, 2010, effective January 9, 2010, 40 Pa.B. 254; 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 December 6, 2013, effective January 1, 2014, 43 Pa.B. 7084; 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 25, 2015, effective January 1, 2016, 45 Pa.B. 5788; amended November 20, 2015, effective January 1, 2016, 45 Pa.B. 6678; amended January 22, 2021, effective January 23, 2021, 51 Pa.B. 428. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (386551) to (386552) and (379411).



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