PA Fishing License Cost (The Ultimate Guide)

The “Keystone State” is home to some of the most varied freshwater fishing in the country because to its 85,000 miles of rivers, tens of thousands of lakes, and more than 100 state parks. You need a Pennsylvania fishing license to take advantage of any of it. In this article, we are going to discuss more about the PA fishing license cost. Based on that, you can proceed with allocating funds to get your license.

The issue is that the regulations may sometimes be exceedingly perplexing. Today, we’ll explain all you need to know about PA licenses so you can read less and reel more. Looking for information on nearby states or the US in general? Here is a link to our whole collection of licensing guidelines.

Who needs a fishing license in Pennsylvania?

To fish in the state, you must be at least 16 years old. This is true for both locals and visitors, even while fishing with a guide or charter. To fish on Lake Erie or bring salmon or trout home, you’ll need more than just a standard license.

Residents of Pennsylvania who are on military leave and are outside the state are not covered by this. Instead, they must provide identification proving their address and military status (PA driver’s license, military ID, and current military orders indicating their assignment and leave status).

The only other exception is “Fish for Free Days.” Every year, fishermen from all over the world are allowed to fish without a license or permission on the last Sunday in May and on July 4.

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Understanding PA fishing license cost

You may get a license for anything from a day to a decade or even your whole life. But not all of them are accessible to everyone. Here is a list of all the different license categories, their prices, and who is eligible to apply for them.

  • For one day license, you will have to spend $26.97
  • For three days license, you will have to spend $26.97
  • For seven days license, you will have to spend $34.97
  • For annual license, you will have to spend $52.97
  • For three-year license, you will have to spend $154.97
  • For five-year license, you will have to spend $256.97
  • For ten-year license, you will have to spend $211.97

There are a number of temporary licenses available to out-of-staters that are great for journeys for leisure or work. Residents do not get all of these, although a 10-year license is a possibility. Residents who are 65 years of age or older may also purchase a lifetime permit. One thing to keep in mind is that 1-Day Licenses aren’t functional from March 15 to April 30. However, they do provide insurance for you to keep salmon and trout while you fish on Lake Erie.

  • Some persons may get cheap or even free fishing permits in addition to the usual list. Discounted licenses are available to the following individuals for $2.90:
  • Residents of the Reserves and National Guards who have served abroad for 60 days or more, or who have been medically discharged during the previous 24 months
  • Veterans who live in the area and who are at least 60% handicapped or have lost a limb.
  • Pennsylvanians who were formerly prisoners of war (POWs).
  • Additionally, local veterans who are blind or who are 100% handicapped qualify for a free Disabled Veterans License.

These are available through the county treasurer’s office or the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. Bring a valid ID that verifies your address along with documentation of your status.

Where can I get a fishing license in Pennsylvania?

You are aware that you need a license, but where should you apply? It’s easy; simply choose one of the options listed below, and you’re good to go.

  • In person. Visit any one of the state’s 1,300+ merchants. They are often sold by companies like Walmart, tackle shops, and hardware stores.
  • Online. This is the easiest method of acquiring a license. You may print it out and you’re set to go as soon as you pay.
  • Through phone. At 877-707-4085, you may also purchase a license over the phone.

You must provide your social security number when requesting a fishing license or permit in Pennsylvania. So that everything goes well, be sure you have everything on hand.

When do Pennsylvania fishing permits expire?

All tourist short-term fishing permits expire the exact number of days after you bought them. A 3-Day Fishing License, for instance, purchased on a Monday expires at midnight on Wednesday or Thursday. The same reasoning also applies to annual and multi-year licenses. You may use that license to fish up to the end of its last year of validity. So, if you purchased a 10-Year License in 2017, it will be valid until the very last second of December 31, 2026.

Agreements of Mutual Benefit with Other States

It might be challenging at times to fish in waterways that are next to neighboring states. Fortunately, Pennsylvania and several of its neighbors have a deal that allows you to fish in these waterways with your PA license:

  • Maryland: If boat fishing, along the Conowingo and Youghiogheny Rivers.
  • New Jersey: From New Jersey’s shoreline, from the Delaware River, or from a boat in its seas.
  • New York: from the coast of New Jersey, from the Delaware River, or from a boat in its seas (same as New Jersey).
  • Ohio: While boat fishing along the Pymatuning River.

There are no additional agreements pertaining to fishing permits between Pennsylvania and other states at this time. Make sure you have a current fishing license for both states if you are fishing in any of the other border regions or stay out of other states’ waterways.

Common queries about Pennsylvania fishing licenses

Various fishing equipment on a wooden table, with a question mark-shaped hook and sinker in the center.

What ages are seniors considered to be?

In Pennsylvania, you must be 65 or older to be eligible for a senior fishing license.

Does my Senior Resident Lifetime License need me to purchase a Trout stamp every year?

Senior lifetime license holders were limited to only one Trout Stamp purchase for lifetime up to 2015. The Senior Resident Lifetime License, however, must be renewed whenever it expires if it was acquired after January 1, 2015.

Does my fishing license have to be on display?

Yes. Your outside clothing must clearly display all of your licenses, and you must always have a state-issued ID on you. You may apply for a $10 fishing badge, which serves as a license but eliminates the need to take it with you, if you wish to keep your fishing license secure. Simply tack it to your coat and remember to carry your license certificate along with you.

For out-of-state fishers, is there a discount for handicapped veterans?

No. In Pennsylvania, residents only are eligible for reduced veteran or senior license rates.

If I’m fishing for trout or salmon, do I need both a standard fishing license and a trout/salmon license?

Yes. You will need both a standard fishing license and the separate Trout/Salmon permit in order to fish for trout and salmon.

My fishing license and stamp are gone. What will I do?

No record of your license? Not to worry! You may get a second one for $6.90. You may accomplish this in person or online at any state-wide fishing license retailer.

If I’m capturing and releasing fish, can I fish in natural trout streams or waterways that have been supplied with trout without a permit?

No. You need a trout stamp whether you’re harvesting or releasing fish in order to fish in trout-stocked waterways or any designated trout stream in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania fishing places with a following

In Pennsylvania, you need a fishing license, and many places have unique rules and creel limitations. Anglers are urged to review the rules for their preferred fishing spots at Prepare to relax while reeling in some impressive catches.

1. First Isle Bay

The oldest port on the Great Lakes is Presque Isle Bay. Presque Isle Peninsula forms the Bay by arcing north and east into Lake Erie. The Bay’s northern coast is formed by Presque Isle State Park. The City of Erie abuts the majority of the Bay’s southern coast. Without a visit to Pennsylvania’s one and only shoreline, a fishing vacation to the Keystone State would be incomplete. Anglers seeking a variety of species, including as panfish, perch, bass, muskellunge, walleye, northern pike, crappies, smelt, and steelhead, go to Presque Isle Bay. The piers, the Perry Monument, lagoons, and boat docks are all popular spots for fishing.

2. Neshannock Creek

Neshannock, which means “a location of two streams,” gets its name from the junction of Otter Creek and Cool Spring Creek in Mercer County, where it starts. One of the greatest streams for getting trout stockings in the spring and autumn is the lovely 20-mile freestone stream. The waters close to the upper portion of the creek are more popular with fly fishers, although superb fishing can also be found farther downstream.

3. Slippery Rock Creek

There is a creek not far from Pittsburgh’s city boundaries that is renowned for outstanding trout and smallmouth bass fishing. Slippery Rock Creek features secluded, breathtaking parts that may be reached by trails in McConnells Mill State Park as it flows south into Beaver River. The stream is the only year-round catch-and-release fly-fishing area approved by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

4. Cedar Run

Cedar Run originates in Tioga County and runs for more than eight miles into Pine Creek in Lycoming County. It is full of deep pools and has a substantial population of trout. Anglers may easily reach many tiny fishing areas along Cedar Run from the road, where they are likely to catch lots of fish.

5. Lake Arthur

Warm-water fishing is available at the 3,225-acre Lake Arthur in Moraine State Park. Muskellunge, walleye, channel catfish, and hybrid striped bass are among the species that the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocks. Common wild species include northern pike, largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, and bluegill.

6. Oil Creek

One of Pennsylvania’s best trout and bass streams is Oil Creek. Some of the creek’s tributaries, where wild fish live, are open to exploration by anglers. The first commercial oil well in history was located in the Oil Creek Valley. Oil Creek State Park interprets oil boomtowns, oil wells, and early modes of transportation to convey the tale of the early petroleum industry. Beautiful Oil Creek has carved a valley with marshes, steep slopes, and deep hollows. Oil Creek State Park, located halfway between Titusville and Oil City, has the finest access to the water for fishing. Here, the water has lovely flows, riffles, and pools.

7. Stream Spring

The area around State College known as Spring Creek is considered an angler’s paradise. With trout ranging in size from 16 to 20 inches, the wild trout fishery is full of exquisite fishing sites. Fisherman’s Paradise, a popular location along the stream, provides seclusion and a ton of wild and aggressive fish. According to surveys done by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, Spring Creek is one of the wild brown trout streams in the Keystone State with the densest population.

8. Slate run

One of the most well-known freestone trout streams in the east of the United States is Slate Run. The upper portion of the stream is home to wild brook trout and a few brown trout, while the lower portion is home to wild brown trout.

9. Yellow Breeches Creek

One of the most well-known streams in the state and a top fly-fishing spot for trout is Yellow Breeches. The river, which is one of the most extensively fished streams in the country, originates from a number of springs that run through the Huntsdale Hatchery before becoming the stream’s source. Visitors may anticipate seeing several fishermen fishing every day in the stream, where there is never a lack of fish. This river is supported by a massive stocking program, with fish being supplied virtually the whole length of it. Trout may be commonly seen eating on top in the spring.

Final words

Now you are aware about the PA fishing license cost. You are also aware about the best places to go fishing in PA. Keep this article as a guide and go ahead to get the best possible experiences in PA with fishing.