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REGULATORY CHANGES

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The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) is the Commonwealth agency with the authority to enforce Title 30 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (The Fish and Boat Code). In addition, the Commission may promulgate such rules and regulations consistent with the provisions of the Fish and Boat Code. Before a regulation becomes final, the Commission must first publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Pennsylvania Bulletin seeking comments, objections, or suggestions from the public. Comments are accepted for at least 30 days.  After the public comment period, the Commission considers the proposed amendment on final rulemaking. If adopted on final rulemaking, the amendment becomes effective on the date of publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin or other date specified by the Commission.

The information provided on this webpage is a summary of regulatory proposals that are being considered by the Commission, as well as final regulations. The purpose of posting this information is to make the public aware of the issues and to elicit public feedback on proposals. Comments on the proposals provide the Commission with valuable information and perspectives that will be considered and possibly incorporated into content or editorial changes. We appreciate your time and your commitment to Pennsylvania’s natural resources. The graphic within each topic will help you follow the change through the regulatory process.

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Click on a title below to be taken to a regulation change.


FISHING - Proposed Rulemaking - Special Fishing Regulations - Sheppard-Meyers Reservoir

48A-340

Thermometer - Comment PeriodThis proposed rulemaking updates the Commission's regulations to allow for the harvest of trout under Commonwealth inland water regulations, but allow only catch-and-release fishing for all other species within Sheppard-Meyers Reservoir.


NOTICE - Classification of Wild Trout Streams; Proposed Additions and Revisions; January 2023

The listing of a stream section as a wild trout stream is a biological designation that does not determine how it is managed.  The Commission relies upon many factors in determining the appropriate management of streams.  This Notice outlines the proposed addition of streams or portions of streams to the Commission's list of wild trout streams, as well as revisions, which will be considered during the Commission meeting on January 23-24, 2023. 


NOTICE - Proposed Changes to List of Class A Wild Trout Waters;  January 2023

It is the Commission's policy to manage self-sustaining Class A wild trout populations as a renewable natural resource to conserve that resource and the angling it provides.  Criteria has been developed for Class A wild trout fisheries that are species specific.  The Notice outlines wild trout biomass classification criteria by species and proposes the addition of new stream sections to the list of Class A wild trout streams which will be considered during the Commission meeting on January 23-24, 2023. 


NOTICE - Temporary Change to Fishing Regulations; Belmont Lake

The Commission has taken immediate action to modify temporary fishing regulations at Belmont Lake, located in Wayne County.  In anticipation of a partial drawdown of the lake, the Executive Director is lifting all seasons, sizes and creel limits for all species, effective October 29, 2022.


FISHING - Proposed Rulemaking - Propagation and Introduction of Fish into Commonwealth Waters

48A-325

Thermometer - Comment PeriodThis proposed rulemaking updates the Commission's regulations pertaining to the introduction and transportation of fish into waters of the Commonwealth and creates new regulatory requirements for fish health certification and watercraft inspections.  All changes are outlined in the proposed rulemaking.  It is important to note the public comment period for this rulemaking has been extended.


NOTICE - Triploid Grass Carp Permit Application - Smith

Triploid grass carp are sterile fish that may, in appropriate circumstances, help control aquatic vegetation.  The Commission has received the application published in the Proposed Notice, requesting a permit to stock triploid grass carp in Commonwealth Waters.


NOTICE - Special Regulations Designations - Saucon Creek

Thermometer - Comment PeriodThe Commission designates or re-designates certain water bodies as being subject to special fishing regulations.  The Commission will consider removing Saucon Creek from its list of "trophy trout artificial lures only" waters and adding it to the list of "artificial lures only trout slot limit" waters at the October 24 and 25, 2022 meeting.


NOTICE - Special Regulations Designations - Codorus Creek

Thermometer - Comment PeriodThe Commission designates or re-designates certain water bodies as being subject to special fishing regulations.  The Commission will consider removing Codorus Creek from its list of "trophy trout artificial lures only" waters and adding it to the list of "artificial lures only trout slot limit" waters at the October 24 and 25, 2022 meeting.

NOTICE - Special Regulations Designations - Monocacy Creek

Thermometer - Comment PeriodThe Commission designates or re-designates certain water bodies as being subject to special fishing regulations.  The Commission will consider removing Monocacy Creek from its list of "trophy trout artificial lures only" waters and adding it to the list of "artificial lures only trout slot limit" waters at the October 24 and 25, 2022 meeting.


NOTICE - Special Regulations Designations - Penns Creek 

Thermometer - Comment PeriodThe Commission designates or re-designates certain water bodies as being subject to special fishing regulations.  The Commission will consider adding Penns Creek to its list of waters managed under the "All-tackle trout slot limit" program at the October 24 and 25, 2022 meeting.


FISHING - Final Rulemaking - Atlantic Striped Bass Fishing

48A-339

Thermometer - Comment PeriodThis proposed rulemaking updates the Commission's regulations pertaining to Atlantic striped bass fishing in the Delaware River, West Branch Delaware River and River Estuary.


FISHING - Final Rulemaking - Bowfishing (Snakehead)

48A-338

Thermometer - Comment PeriodThis proposed rulemaking updates the Commission's regulations pertaining to bowfishing, specifically the addition of snakehead to the list of approved species that can be targeted.


BOATING - Final Rulemaking - Treasure Lake, Clearfield County

48A-337

Thermometer - Comment PeriodThis proposed rulemaking updates the Commission's regulations pertaining to the maximum boat length on Treasure Lake, located in Clearfield County.


BOATING - Final Rulemaking - Allowable Electric Motor Speeds & Horsepower Restrictions

48A-336

Thermometer - Comment PeriodThis proposed rulemaking updates the Commission's regulations pertaining to allowable electric motor speeds and to clarify horsepower restrictions.  The amendments to Chapter 107 will limit the speed electric motors can be operated and will clarify that horsepower restrictions apply to internal combustion motors only.


NOTICE - Classification of Wild Trout Streams; Additions and Revisions; October 2022

The listing of a stream section as a wild trout stream is a biological designation that does not determine how it is managed.  The Commission relies upon many factors in determining the appropriate management of streams.  This Notice outlines the proposed addition of streams or portions of streams to the Commission's list of wild trout streams, as well as revisions, which will be considered during the Commission meeting on October 24 and 25, 2022. 


NOTICE - Changes to List of Class A Wild Trout Waters;  October 2022

It is the Commission's policy to manage self-sustaining Class A wild trout populations as a renewable natural resource to conserve that resource and the angling it provides.  Criteria has been developed for Class A wild trout fisheries that are species specific.  The Notice outlines wild trout biomass classification criteria by species and proposes the addition of new stream sections to the list of Class A wild trout streams which will be considered during the Commission meeting on October 24 and 25, 2022. 


NOTICE - Triploid Grass Carp Permit Application

Triploid grass carp are sterile fish that may, in appropriate circumstances, help control aquatic vegetation.  The Commission has received the application published in the Proposed Notice, requesting a permit to stock triploid grass carp in Commonwealth Waters.


FISHING - Final Rulemaking - Boat Title, License, and Permit Fees

48A-335

Thermometer - Comment PeriodThis proposed rulemaking updates the Commission's regulations pertaining to the fees of boat titles, licenses, and permits.  A public hearing will be held on Monday, July 25, 2022 at 6 PM.


FISHING - Final Rulemaking - Fishing License, Permit, and Boat Registration Fees

48A-334

Thermometer - Comment PeriodThis proposed rulemaking updates the Commission's regulations pertaining to the fees of fishing licenses, permits and boat registrations as outlined in the proposed rulemaking.  A public hearing will be held on Monday, July 25, 2022 at 6 PM.


FISHING - General Fishing Regulations -  Noncommercial Officially-Recognized Fish Cleaning Stations

48A-332

Thermometer - Comment PeriodWaterways Conservation Officers of the Commission are requesting that a 2 inch by 2 inch piece of skin remain on fish fillets for fish processed at noncommercial officially recognized fish cleaning stations throughout the Commonwealth.  This change will simplify the identification of fish harvested and processed at these locations.  This proposed rulemaking outlines the changes to the Commission's regulations pertaining to fish processing at officially-recognized fish cleaning stations.


BOATING - Boat-Towed Watersports

48A-329

Thermometer - Comment PeriodOn September 28, 2021, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) membership adopted a model act for safe boating practices for boat-towed watersports.  The Commission has reviewed and selected relevant portions of the act to incorporate and modernize its regulations, as shown in the proposed rulemaking.


NOTICE - Classification of Wilderness Trout Streams; Additions; July 2022

The Commission maintains the wilderness trout streams program where stream remoteness and populations of naturally reproducing trout combine to offer sport fishing opportunities for anglers in a remote setting.  This Notice outlines the proposed addition of streams or portions of streams to the Commission's list of wilderness trout streams, which will be considered during the Commission meeting on July 25 and 26, 2022. 


FISHING - General Fishing Regulations - Allowable Fishing Devices

48A-331

Thermometer - Comment PeriodOver the last several years, anglers have asked the Commission whether devices such as trout beads are a legal device for use in Commonwealth waters.  The proposed rulemaking updates the Commission's regulations pertaining to allowable fishing devices for use in Commonwealth waters to address such questions.


FISHING - General Fishing Regulations - Unlawful Methods of Taking Fish

48A-330

Thermometer - Comment PeriodWaterways Conservation Officers of the Commission have noticed an increase in individuals using nets to attempt to take fish over the last several seasons.  As a result, this changes outline in the proposed rulemaking updates the Commission's regulations pertaining to unlawful methods of taking fish.


BOATING - Special Regulations Counties -  Woodcock Creek

48A-328

Thermometer - Comment PeriodThe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) recently submitted a request to change the local policy on Woodcock Creek Lake to a 20-horsepower limitation.  The horsepower change is to allow increased boating opportunities as a response to upward trends in boating activity.  This proposed rulemaking updates the Commission's regulations pertaining to Woodcock Creek Lake to ensure uniformity with USACOE regulations, and to allow Commission Waterways Conservation Offices to continue to assist in enforcement of this boating regulation. 


BOATING - Operator Provided Equipment -  Fire Extinguishers

48A-327

Thermometer - Comment PeriodIn October 2021, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) published a final rulemaking amending the fire extinguishing equipment regulations for recreational vessels propelled or controlled by propulsion machinery.  This proposed rulemaking updates the Commission's regulations pertaining to fire extinguishers to ensure uniformity with the USCG's regulations. 


FISHING - Seasons, Sizes and Creel Limits -  American Shad

48A-326

Thermometer - Comment PeriodMultiple state, federal, and tribal jurisdictions jointly manage American Shad fisheries along the Atlantic Coast, including the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and the Delaware River Basin Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative (Co-Op).  The Commission is a member of both entities.  Due to recent assessments the groups have identified unsustainable mortality within the Delaware River basin for the American Shad population.  The Commission is proposing to amend the daily creel limit for American Shad as outlined in this notice of proposed rulemaking.


 

NOTICE - Lake Erie Creel Limits for Walleye and Yellow Perch - 2022

The Executive Director of the Commission has determined the daily limits for walleye and yellow perch in the Commonwealth waters of Lake Erie.  The daily limit for walleye has been set at 6, while the daily limit for yellow perch has been set at 30.  Additional details are outlined in the Notice below.



NOTICE - Lake Erie Commercial Fishing - 2022

The Executive Director of the Commission has determined the annual total allowable commercial catch for walleye and yellow perch in the Commonwealth waters of Lake Erie.  The limit for walleye has been set at 4,000 pounds, while the limit for yellow perch has been set at 100,000 pounds.  Additional details are outlined in the Notice below.



NOTICE - Boat and Marine Forfeiture; Maximum Amount

The Commission is responsible for determining the annual maximum amount for boat and marine forfeiture sales based on the maximum amount in the year prior, and adjusting to reflect the change in Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers in the United States.  The Commission has set the maximum for 2021 at $6,575, as reflected in the published Notice.


 

SPECIAL FISHING REGULATIONS - Little Chartiers Creek

48A-323

Thermometer - Comment PeriodLittle Chartiers Creek has been managed under miscellaneous special regulations since the early 1980s to prohibit angling from the end of the extended season for trout through 8 AM on the opening day of the regular season for trout.  Historically, this was done to manage unwanted angling that occurred due to stocked trout escaping from Canonsburg Lake and traveling downstream.  The Commission is proposing it be removed from the miscellaneous special regulations as outlined in the published Proposed Rulemaking.


 

SPECIAL FISHING REGULATIONS - Penns Creek

48A-324

Thermometer - Comment PeriodIn 2021, the Commission established a new special regulation program known as the trout slot limit.  Under this trout slot limit program, there are two subprograms: all-tackle trout slot limit and artificial lures only trout slot limit.  Given the success Penns Creek has had under the experimental slot limit regulation, the Commission is proposing it be removed from miscellaneous special regulations in favor of management under the newly established trout slot limit program, as outlined in the published Proposed Rulemaking. 



 

FISHING - Bowfishing

48A-321

Thermometer - Comment PeriodThe Commission has received an increasing number of complaints regarding bowfishing.  These complaints focus on the intense lighting used to locate fish, as well as the noise created by generators used to power lighting.  To address these complaints, the Commission is proposing the changes outlined in the published Proposed Rulemaking. 


 
NOTICE - Approved Courses of Instruction in Boating Safety Education

Annually, the Commission publishes a list of approved boating safety education courses, which establish proof of competency through the successful completion of a course.  This list can be updated throughout the year.

 
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Send comments electronically on proposed rulemakings by completing the Rulemakings and Notices comment form.