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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 2336 (April 27, 2024).

Pennsylvania Code



71a.11.    Prohibited species.
71a.12.    Watercraft requirements and prohibitions.
71a.13.    Bait fish importation and use.

§ 71a.11. Prohibited species.

 (a)  It is unlawful to introduce, import, possess or transport in or through this Commonwealth, or the waters of this Commonwealth, the following species:

   (1)  Snakeheads (all species).

   (2)  Black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus).

   (3)  Bighead carp (Hypophthalmichtys nobilis).

   (4)  Silver carp (Hypophthalmichtys molitrix).

   (5)  Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha).

   (6)  Quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis).

   (7)  Round goby (Neogobius melanostomus).

   (8)  Freshwater tubenose goby (Proterorhinus semilunaris).

   (9)  European rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus).

   (10)  Crayfish (all live species), except when any of the following apply:

     (i)   Possessed and used as bait on, in or about the water from which taken.

     (ii)   Possessed or imported for testing and scientific purposes or restaurant consumption, adequate measures have been taken to prevent their escape, and they are accompanied by documentation stating the point of origin and the destination to which they are to be delivered.

     (iii)   Dead with the head removed or salted and dried for angling purposes.

   (11)  Ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernua).

 (b)  Exceptions. Species in subsection (a)(1)—(4) may be possessed in this Commonwealth for the purposes of consumption or slaughter only. Other exceptions for species in subsection (a) shall require prior written approval from the Commission’s Executive Director.

Cross References

   This section cited in 58 Pa. Code §  71a.12 (relating to watercraft requirements and prohibitons).

§ 71a.12. Watercraft requirements and prohibitions.

 (a)  General. No person may intentionally place or attempt to place a watercraft, trailer or water-related equipment into waters of this Commonwealth, including aquatic plant harvesting or control equipment, that has aquatic plants or prohibited species attached, in whole or in part, except as provided in this section.

 (b)  Removal and confinement.

   (1)  A waterways conservation officer may order the following:

     (i)   The removal of aquatic plants or prohibited species listed in §  71a.11(a) (relating to prohibited species) from a watercraft, trailer or water-related equipment before being transported or before it is placed into waters of this Commonwealth.

     (ii)   Confinement of the watercraft at a mooring, dock or other location until the related equipment is removed from the water.

     (iii)   Removal of watercraft from a water of this Commonwealth to remove prohibited invasive species if the water has not been listed by the Commission as being infected with that species.

     (iv)   A prohibition on placing a watercraft into a water of this Commonwealth when the watercraft has aquatic plants or prohibited invasive species attached in violation of subsection (a) or when water has not been drained or the drain plug has not been removed in violation of subsection (c).

     (v)   Decontamination of a watercraft, if possible, on site.

   (2)  An order for removal of prohibited invasive species under paragraph (1)(i) or decontamination of a watercraft under paragraph (1)(v) may include issuing a notice that specifies a time frame for completing the removal or decontamination, and re-inspection of the watercraft.

 (c)  Persons transporting watercraft.

   (1)  When leaving a water of this Commonwealth, a person must drain a watercraft holding water (including those without plugs) and live wells and bilges by removing the drain plug before transporting the watercraft. Transporting includes moving the watercraft over land between connected or unconnected waterbodies but does not include moving watercraft within the immediate area required for loading and preparing the watercraft for transport over land. A person transporting game fish as a result of a tournament for weigh-in purposes is not subject to this subsection.

   (2)  Drain plugs, bailers, valves or other devices used to control the draining of water from ballast tanks, bilges and live wells must be removed or opened while transporting watercraft.

   (3)  A person shall ensure the watercraft, trailer, motor, boating gear and conveyance used to transport the watercraft and trailer are free of aquatic organisms, including vegetation.

§ 71a.13. Bait fish importation and use.

 (a)  A person may not release or dispose live bait fish into any water of this Commonwealth, except live bait fish baited on a hook for angling purposes, without prior submission of a Notice of Stocking to the Commission. A person may collect live bait fish for angling. A species of bait fish collected for use as bait may not be transferred from waters in this Commonwealth into another drainage of this Commonwealth where this particular species does not already exist. This subsection does not apply to the Commission, or a propagation facility licensed by the Department under 3 Pa.C.S. § §  4201—4223 (relating to Aquaculture Development Law) for the purpose of releasing bait fish into waters of this Commonwealth as food for aquaculture or fisheries management purposes.

 (b)  Live bait fish imported and intended for introduction into waters of this Commonwealth shall be in compliance with §  71a.6 (relating to fish health certificate requirements).

 (c)  This subsection does not apply to dead bait fish (salted or frozen) sold for angling purposes outside the Lake Erie watershed. The provisions of §  71a.7 (relating to introduction or transportation of VHS-susceptible species of fish) shall be adhered to for purposes of this section.

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