Price Hike Planned to Fish in PA

Gregory Vellner
Could cost more to fish in Pennsylvania.Unsplash

LANGHORNE, Pa. – On a recent Tuesday afternoon at Core Creek Park here in Bucks County, just a few miles north of Philadelphia, it was partly sunny, 79 degrees and tranquil. A good day for fishing, but little was going on at a place that features a 24-hour fishing dock, as well as a boat house and launching pad.

Turns out not to be a good day for fishing.

“They didn’t stock the water this year,” said a county Park and Recreation Department spokesperson who asked not to be named. “There was a problem with the Neshaminy Creek waterway.”

The fish-stocking disorder is happening only here. But in parks like Core Creek throughout Pennsylvania, there’s another forecast: the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission might hike rates for fishing and boat licenses – the first increase in 17 years.

If approved at a future board meeting, the fee increase will generate $2.5 million annually for the Fish Fund to support fishing related programs.

“These modest fee adjustments would ensure that important infrastructure, services and programs for anglers and boaters can continue and improve into the future while keeping prices reasonable,” said Richard Kauffman, commission president. “While the price of a fishing license has remained the same for the past 17 years, operational expenses have continued to go up and it is time to bring our fees in line with our business needs.”

During a special meeting earlier this month, the commission gave preliminary approval to a list of proposed fee adjustments for fishing licenses and various other licenses and permits for the 2023 license year.

Under the proposal, the price of the most common fishing license and permits -- a Resident annual Fishing License, Trout Permit and Combination Trout/Lake Erie Permit -- would increase by $2.50 each. Separate increases would be applied to other license and permit categories for non-residents, seniors, and tourists.

“You need a license no matter where you fish in Pennsylvania,” said a Fish and Boat Commission representative, who asked not to be named. “A residential annual license now is $22.97. A motor boat also needs one and it depends on the size of the boat. A 15-foot, for example, is $26 plus a title fee.”

In addition to the most common fishing licenses and permitts, the fee adjustment proposal also impacts other categories like for non-residents, seniors and tourists.

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As a professional journalist for several years -- reporter, editor, feature writer, columnist -- I handled a range of subjects. Breaking news, investigative series, government action, feature events, and staff feature writer with national entertainment magazine interviewing stars including Tom Selleck, Mel Brooks and Danny DeVito. No matter the topic, certain ingredients are key: truth, facts, objectivity, balance.

Bucks County, PA

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