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Fishing license sales help protect Pennsylvania’s native species, conserve the outdoors and enhance waterways. People can also support conservation efforts and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission programs by buying Voluntary Permits.

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Voluntary Permits support specific programs and projects: Habitat and Waterways Conservation, Muskellunge, Bass, and Wild Trout and Enhanced Waters. Each permit is available as an annual, 3-year, 5-year or 10-year permit.

Revenue from the sales of each permit is placed in a restricted account and will be used to support new efforts or expand existing endeavors. Voluntary Permit funds collected every year are used in the following year to fund various projects.

Projects from Previous Years: 2021 -- 2020


Photo of a Voluntary Habitat/Waterways Conservation PermitThis voluntary permit is for all who utilize the waterways of Pennsylvania. From bikers to trail walkers to birders to anglers, the Voluntary Habitat/Waterways Conservation Permit benefits those who appreciate the resources of Pennsylvania.

Revenue from this permit strengthens streams, rivers, lakes and wetland habitats. This wide range of permit uses may include installing habitat structures in lakes, creating riparian buffers and improving water quality, all important characteristics to a healthy watershed. In the future, it may also allow PFBC to support efforts for fish passage or dam removal.


Photo of a Voluntary Musky PermitAnglers who target the "fish of 10,000 casts" may donate to this voluntary permit. The PFBC will use the Voluntary Musky Permit funds to expand muskellunge fishing opportunities. Some funds will be used to purchase additional hatchery equipment, allowing the Commission to raise more musky fingerlings and update rearing tanks. Like the Pennsylvania's Best Fishing Waters for bass, PFBC may also establish enhanced and designated Musky Waters for anglers.

With the purchase of additional forage minnows to feed fingerlings, larger fingerlings can be stocked thus leading to a greater survival rate post stocking. Funds may also be utilized for research opportunities such as tagging, tracking or genetic studies in wild muskies.


Photo of a Voluntary Bass Permit

If you enjoy a Largemouth Bass exploding on a Jitterbug lure or can appreciate watching a Smallmouth Bass tail away after a successful release, this may be the permit for you. The monetary resources raised from the Voluntary Bass Permit allow the Commission to manage bass fisheries in multiple ways. Efforts and initiatives include improvements to boat area access in key bass fishing waters, habitat improvement to increase natural bass reproduction, maintaining and improving Pennsylvania's Best Fishing Waters for bass, and financial support for PFBC hatcheries to improve bass culture methods and increase the size of bass fingerlings stocked.

Funds may be used to study tournament fishing methods and ways to improve how they are operated and how fish are handled. Furthermore, permit monies going into bass habitat work may also benefit flowing water bass populations.


Photo of a Voluntary Wild Trout and Enhanced Waters PermitFor anglers who prefer exploring Pennsylvania's remote areas and fishing for wild species, the Wild Trout and Enhanced Waters Permit will benefit wild trout. This voluntary permit will benefit wild trout fisheries, improve habitat, and maintain and enhance the existing Pennsylvania's Best Fishing Waters for wild trout.

Wild trout projects may include instream habitat work designed to improve a population from a lower biomass class to a higher biomass class, as well as fund further research needs for wild trout. Funds from this permit will not be used on trout stocking programs.

The Wild Trout and Enhanced Waters permit does not meet the requirement to fish for trout or salmon in Pennsylvania waters.

View Voluntary Permit price chart here.