Everything You Need to Know About Obtaining a PA Fishing License

pa fishing license

If you’re an avid angler in Pennsylvania, then you probably know that you need a fishing permit before you can fish in state waters. If you’re new to the sport, or haven’t had the opportunity to obtain a license yet, there’s no need to worry. This article will give you all the information that you need about obtaining a PA fishing licence, including its cost and regulations.

What is a PA Fishing License?

A PA fishing licence is an authorization document which allows individuals to fish in Pennsylvania’s freshwater or marine waters within the state boundaries. The fishing license is proof that the holder knows the state’s rules and regulations for fishing and has paid all fees necessary to fish within the designated waters. The PA fishing licence is valid for a specified period and may include different fishing privileges depending on the type of license and the age of the angler.

Who needs a PA fishing license?

According to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission anyone aged 16 and older who has lived in Pennsylvania for at least 60 days must obtain a license. Non-residents aged 16 or older must also obtain a non-resident license to fish on Pennsylvania’s waters. Some individuals do not need a fishing licence, such as anglers who are Pennsylvania residents and active duty US military stationed in Pennsylvania.

What are the different types of fishing licenses available in Pennsylvania?

Anglers in Pennsylvania can choose from several different types of fishing licenses. There are several types of fishing licenses available to anglers in Pennsylvania.

Resident Fishing License

Residents of Pennsylvania aged 16 to 64 can apply for this license. The resident fishing permit allows the holder access to all inland waters of Pennsylvania, including the Susquehanna River and its tributaries. However, it does not allow access to Lake Erie or Delaware River.

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Senior Resident Fishing Licence

Residents of Pennsylvania who are 65 years old and older, and have lived in the state for 60 days or more, can apply for this license. The senior resident fishing permit is free and allows the holder to fish in inland waters of the state and trout streams.

Non-Resident fishing license

This license is for anglers from out-of-state who are 16 years old and older and wish to fish the inland waters of Pennsylvania, including boundary lakes, Susquehanna River and its tributaries but not Lake Erie and the Delaware River.

7-Day Non-Resident License

Non-residents aged 16 or older who wish to fish for seven days in the state’s inland waters and tidewaters can obtain this license. The non-resident seven-day license does not allow fishing in Lake Erie and the Delaware River.

Tourist License

Non-residents visiting the state as tourists can obtain this license to fish in inland waters of the state for up to 3 days. The tourist license is only valid for three consecutive days, and does not cover fishing in Lake Erie and the Delaware River.

Combination License

Residents and non-residents can both use this license. The combination license grants hunting and furtaking rights as well as fishing permits for inland waters.

Trout and Salmon Permit

Pennsylvania waters require a trout and salmon license to fish for steelhead, salmon, or trout. Pennsylvania residents aged 16 to 64, and non-residents 16 and older must have a trout and salmon fishing permit in order to fish certain waters.

How much does a fishing license in PA cost?

The cost to obtain a fishing permit in Pennsylvania depends on the angler’s age, residence, and the type fishing license desired. The cost of a PA Fishing License is as follows in 2021:

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Resident Fishing License

  • Annual fishing license: $22.90
  • Three-day tourist permit: $9.90
  • Seven-day Tourist License: $15.90

Senior Resident Fishing Licence

Senior resident fishing licenses are free for Pennsylvania residents 65 years and older.

Non-Resident fishing license

  • Annual fishing license: 52.90 dollars
  • Three-day tourist permit: $26.90
  • Seven-day Tourist License: $34.90

Trout and Salmon Permit

A permit for trout and salmon costs $9.90 regardless of the angler’s age or residence.

Where can I get a PA fishing license?

It is simple and easy to obtain a fishing permit in Pennsylvania. You can buy a PA fishing licence online, in person or by mail.

To purchase a Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission fishing license online, go to the website and choose the desired type of fishing license from the list. Follow the instructions to complete the application and pay the fees.

You can purchase your PA fishing permit in person at any licensed licensing agent. Bait and tackle shops, sporting goods stores, and other businesses in the state are licensed agents. On the website of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, you can find a complete list of agents.

If you would prefer to buy your fishing license by mail, you can print and download a form from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s website. After completing the application, mail the form along with a money order or check to the address indicated on the form.

What are Pennsylvania Fishing Regulations

Pennsylvania has a set of rules and regulations that govern fishing in the state. These regulations are intended to ensure the sustainability and conservation of fish populations, to minimize damage to aquatic environments, and to promote safe and ethical fishing practices.

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The following are some of the general fishing rules in Pennsylvania:

  • Anglers in Pennsylvania must have a fishing license to fish in freshwater or marine waters.
  • The minimum size and number of fish you can take home depends on the fish species, location, and season.
  • Anglers are prohibited from using explosives, chemicals or electricity to catch fish.
  • Anglers are required to release fish immediately if the size or species is not legal.
  • Introduce invasive species of fish to the state’s waterways is illegal.
  • Anglers are required to follow all safety regulations whether they are fishing in a boat, watercraft, or from a bridge or dock.


All anglers fishing in Pennsylvania waters must have a valid fishing license, unless they qualify for an exemption. There are several types of fishing permits available, including resident fishing licences, non-resident licenses for seniors, tourist licenses and trout and Salmon permits. The cost to obtain a fishing permit varies depending on an angler’s age, residency, and type of license. Pennsylvania has a number of regulations regarding fishing in its waters. These include minimum size and bag limit, authorized fishing methods, baits, as well as safety requirements. Anglers can have a memorable and safe fishing experience by obtaining a PA license and following the state’s fishing rules.

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