HARRISBURG, Pa. – During its formal quarterly business meeting on January 28, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) Board of Commissioners approved the removal of a long-standing regulation that requires anglers to display their fishing license on an outer garment while fishing.
Under the amendment to Section 63.2 (PA Title 58), the outer garment display requirement will be replaced with a general possession requirement, which would require only that an angler carry the license on their person while fishing and present the license to a PFBC law enforcement officer upon request.
“With this change, we’re making things more convenient for our anglers,” said Tim Schaeffer, PFBC Executive Director. “By allowing people to simply carry their license in a pocket or in their wallet, rather than pinning it to an outer garment, we hope to hear about fewer licenses being lost and the cost associated with replacing them. It also provides greater consistency with the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s hunting license display requirement, so it should prevent any further confusion among hunters and anglers.”
Schaeffer noted that under the amended regulation, anglers who still wish to display their fishing license on an outer garment may continue to do so. Additionally, customers are reminded that when they purchase a fishing license online through The Outdoor Shop, an electronic version of their fishing license is issued and may be saved and reprinted at no cost in the event of loss. Anglers should note that the regulation change is not immediate and will take effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
In other action, the Board voted to amend the section of the Pennsylvania Code related to the enforcement of Motorboat Noise Control (Title 58, Chapter 119). Under the proposal, which was approved by the Boating Advisory Board, the regulation will become less subjective and more enforceable through a more highly defined set of standards. The amendment will go into effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
Commissioners adopted changes to the seasons, sizes and creel limits within Lake Erie, its tributaries and Presque Isle Bay including peninsula waters, Erie County. To maintain regulatory consistency and simplicity, Lake Erie, Lake tributaries, Presque Isle Bay, and peninsular water Walleye seasonal opening days were scheduled to coincide with Commonwealth Inland Waters (January 1 – March 14, 2020; and 12:01 a.m. on the first Saturday in May to midnight, December 31, 2020). The amendment will go into effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
The Board approved the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking containing an amendment to regulations regarding the importation of Tautog into the Commonwealth. Currently, Tautog, also known as Tog or Blackfish, which are a popular coastal Atlantic Ocean recreational marine species, are prohibited from being imported, sold, offered for sale, or purchased in Pennsylvania when measuring less than 15 inches. The proposed amendment adds an additional requirement that all Tautog possessed for commercial purposes or sold in Pennsylvania should be properly tagged with a serial numbered metal band on the gill cover, as approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Pennsylvania is an important marketplace of commercial seafood including Tautog and this regulation change will provide PFBC waterways conservation officers with the authority to inspect for and enforce Tautog tagging regulations and advance Tautog conservation along the Atlantic Coast. If adopted on final rulemaking at a future meeting, the amendment will go into effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
In other action, Commissioners approved the designation of 36 stream sections to the list of Class A wild trout streams. The board also approved the addition of 49 new waters to the Commission’s list of wild trout streams and a revision to the section limits of one water. These additions and revisions will go into effect upon the publication of a second notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. A list of waters proposed for wild trout stream and Class A Wild Trout Stream designation can be found on the PFBC website.
Pertaining to real estate matters, Commissioners authorized the disposition of an approximately 1.4-acre property located in Chapman Township, Clinton County known as the Hyner Access to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). Within three years, PennDOT will transfer property ownership to Chapman Township, which will incorporate the access road into its existing public road system, which would qualify it for additional funding for operational costs and upgrades.
The Board approved a Resolution Urging Congress for the Reauthorization of Collection Fees to the Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Fund. The language in this Resolution is identical to that contained in Senate Resolution 191.
Commissioners noted that 2020 Pennsylvania licenses are on sale now, and can be purchased at more than 700 retail issuing agents or online at www.fishandboat.com. This year, the annual Fishing Summary book of regulations is available for free through issuing agents. The book is also free to view, download or print on the PFBC website and through the FishBoatPA mobile app.