HARRISBURG, Pa. – During a special meeting held today, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) Board of Commissioners gave preliminary approval to a list of proposed fee adjustments for fishing licenses and various other licenses and permits for the 2023 license year.
If given final approval at a future meeting, this would be the first fishing license price increase since 2005.
“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, PFBC President and District 8 Commissioner. “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.”
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. If approved, revenues from these fee increases are expected to generate an estimated $2.5 million annually for the PFBC’s Fish Fund to support fishing related programs.
In a separate action, the Board gave preliminary approval to fee adjustments associated with several categories of boat titles, licenses, and permits. Many of these administrative fees, such as those related to the issuing of title certificates, cast net permits, and penalties for uncollectable checks, have not been updated since the 1980s or 1990s. If approved, revenues from these fee increases are expected to generate an estimated $30,000 annually for the Fish Fund and $1.5 million for the PFBC’s Boat Fund to support boating related programs.
In accordance with Act 56 of 2020, which provided the PFBC with the authorization to set fees, the proposed fee adjustments must be given preliminary approval by the Board, be presented during a public hearing, and given final approval by the Board. Also, in accordance with Act 56, after final Board approval, the fee adjustments will be shared with the Pennsylvania House and Senate Game and Fisheries Committees for their review.
The date for the public hearing has yet to be established and is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.