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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.

View more information about the rulemaking process


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


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



NOTICE - Classification of Wild Trout Streams; Proposed Additions; July 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 which will be considered during the Commission meeting on July 25 and 26, 2022. 



NOTICE - Proposed Changes to List of Class A Wild Trout Waters;  July 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 July 25 and 26, 2022. 




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 - Temporary Change to Fishing Regulations; Walnut Creek Marina Basin, Erie County

The Executive Director has taken immediate action to amend 58 Pa. Code Section 69.35 (relating to use of commercial series) only as they apply at the Walnut Creek Marina Basin, Erie County, in anticipation of the erection of a coffer dam, to be started sometime in April.  These temporary changes will allow commercial seine license holders to act as 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.



NOTICE - Exemptions to Allow for Continued Stocking of Class A Stream Sections

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 Class A wild trout stream sections to receive a stocking exemption, which will be considered during the Commission meeting on April 25 and 26, 2022. 


 

SPECIAL FISHING REGULATIONS - Proposed Rulemaking - 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 - Proposed Rulemaking - 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 - Proposed Rulemaking - 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 - Special Regulations Designations - Dingsmans Creek

Thermometer - Comment PeriodThe Commission designates or re-designates certain water bodies as being subject to special fishing regulations.  The Commission will consider removing Dingmans Creek, Section 03 from its list of waters managed under the delayed harvest artificial lures only area at the April 25 and 26, 2021 meeting.


 

NOTICE - Classification of Wild Trout Streams; Additions and Revisions; April 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, and revisions to the Commission's list of wild trout streams which will be considered during the Commission meeting on April 25 and 26, 2022. 




NOTICE - Changes to List of Class A Wild Trout Waters;  April 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 April 25 and 26, 2022. 


 

FISHING - Establish a Single Statewide Opening Day of the Regular Season for Trout

48A-318

Thermometer - Comment PeriodAfter experiencing two consecutive years of a single, statewide opening day, the Commission has identified an opportunity to further consider the efficacy of the current Commission regulations that provide for a regional opening day of trout season.  The published proposed rulemaking outlines amendments to eliminate the regional opening day of trout season and return to the more traditional single statewide opener.  The Commission believe that a single opening day simplifies regulations, reduces confusion among the angling public, lessens landowner issues in border counties, gives statewide anglers at least an extra week of fishing opportunity, and better allows businesses to plan for any sales surge.  


 

FISHING - Amendments to 58 Pa. Code Relating to Black Bass Angling Regulations

48A-320

Thermometer - Comment PeriodThe Commission has identified an opportunity to simplify regulations pertaining to black bass (i.e., Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, and Spotted Bass) while improving upon black bass management and optimizing the fishery for that species group.  The published proposed rulemaking outlines amendments to Commonwealth Inland Waters regulations specific to black bass.  In doing so, amendments to seasons as defined in Big Bass regulations, Miscellaneous Special Regulations, and Lake Erie basin regulations are also warranted to establish regulatory consistency.  This slight modification to seasons is expected to have minimal impact to both general angling for black bass as well as tournaments.  Additionally, aligning black bass daily creel and minimum size limits for waters managed under Commonwealth inland waters regulations eliminates regulatory complexity, while continuing to provide adequate protection to the resource.   


 

SPORT FISHING AND ANGLING - Seasons, Sizes and Creel Limits - Lake Erie Basin, Erie County

48A-319

Thermometer - Comment PeriodThe Commission has identified an opportunity to simplify regulations pertaining to the Lake Erin basin while improving upon salmonid management and optimizing the fishery for that species group.  The published proposed rulemaking outlines amendments to the Lake Erie basin angling regulations pertaining to salmonids for regulatory consistency and simplicity by aligning the trout and salmon seasons with the proposed amendment to Commonwealth Inland Waters regulations, and modifying the daily creel and minimum size limits for Rainbow Trout and Lake Trout to optimize those fisheries. 


 

SPECIAL FISHING REGULATIONS – Establish Trout Slot Limit Programs: All-Tackle Trout Slot Limit and Artificial Lures Only Trout Slot Limit
48A-317

Thermometer - Comment PeriodGiven the success of the experimental slot limit regulation program implemented on Penns Creek, Section 03, the Commission will move forward with establishing a new special regulation program to be known as Trout Slot Limit.  The Trout Slot Limit will have two subprograms:  All-Tackle Trout Slot Limit and Artificial Lures Only Trout Slot Limit.  The subprograms outlined in this published proposed rulemaking will provide the Commission with the ability to select the most appropriate tackle option to achieve biological and social objectives for each water considered for inclusion in the program and provide an opportunity to evaluate the effects of different terminal tackle types. 

 

SPECIAL FISHING REGULATIONS – Extended Trout Season

48A-313

Thermometer - Comment PeriodIn the Commission's Strategic Plan for Management of Trout Fisheries in Pennsylvania for 2020-2024, staff identified the stocked trout waters program as one of the Commission's most popular.  As a result, the Commission has proposed changes to improve stocked trout stream angling opportunities and experiences.


 
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.



SPECIAL FISHING REGULATIONS – All-Tackle Trophy Trout & Trophy Trout Artificial Lures Only Regulations
48A-311

Thermometer - Comment PeriodCommission staff evaluated the all-tackle trophy trout and trophy trout artificial lures only programs to determine if refinements were needed to ensure protection to the largest trout in the population.  Based on this evaluation, the Commission is proposing an adjustment to the minimum size and daily creel limit to allow anglers to harvest large trout, but also provide increased protection to a majority of the larger trout in streams managed with trophy trout regulations.