Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin

• No statutes or acts will be found at this website.

The Pennsylvania Bulletin website includes the following: Rulemakings by State agencies; Proposed Rulemakings by State agencies; State agency notices; the Governor’s Proclamations and Executive Orders; Actions by the General Assembly; and Statewide and local court rules.

PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 97-352



[58 PA. CODE CHS. 61, 65 AND 69]


[27 Pa.B. 1155]

   The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) amends Chapters 61, 65 and 69 (relating to seasons, sizes and creel limits; special fishing regulations; and fishing in Lake Erie and boundary lakes). The Commission is publishing these amendments under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to Fish and Boat Code) (code). The amendments relate to fishing.

A.  Effective Date

   These amendments will go into effect upon publication of this order in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

B.  Contact Person

   For further information on the amendments, contact Laurie E. Shepler, Assistant Counsel, (717) 657-4546, P. O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000.

C.  Statutory Authority

   The amendments are published under the statutory authority of section 2102 of the code (relating to rules and regulations).

D.  Purpose and Background

   The amendments are designed to update, modify and improve Commission regulations relating to fishing. The specific purpose for the various amendments is described in more detail under the summary of changes.

E.  Summary of Changes

   (1)  Section 61.1 (relating to Commonwealth inland waters). Effective the 1982 fishing year, the Commission initiated a 15-inch, two fish per day policy for Landlocked Atlantic Salmon as part of the plan for introducing this species to Harveys Lake, Luzerne County, and later to Raystown Lake, Huntingdon County. For reasons that may never be fully understood, but certainly include the collapse of smelt populations in Harveys Lake and perhaps competition with other predatory fish in Raystown, the salmon never materialized despite serious stocking efforts. Stocking has been discontinued for some time, and netting of both waters indicates that few, if any, salmon remain. Thus, there is no need to have specific regulations on Landlocked Atlantic Salmon. The general regulations on all species of trout and salmon for inland waters will more than suffice for any Landlocked Atlantic Salmon that may still exist in Commonwealth waters. The Commission therefore amended this section to delete the specific regulations pertaining to Landlocked Atlantic Salmon.

   (2)  Section 61.4 (relating to Conowingo Reservoir). Maryland and Pennsylvania historically have had a cooperative relationship regarding regulations for the ''border'' waters, Conowingo Reservoir and Youghiogheny Reservoir. Due primarily to the locations of the dams, Pennsylvania takes the lead on the Youghiogheny while Maryland takes the lead on the Conowingo. Staff was recently alerted that Maryland intends to implement changes to its regulations on the Conowingo Reservoir for 1997. Maryland proposes an 18-inch length limit for striped bass (and hybrids). The Maryland proposal also includes length limits of 24 inches for northern pike, 15 inches for walleye and 36 inches for muskellunge and muskellunge hybrids. Although staff believes that the 20-inch minimum length limit currently in effect for striped bass (and hybrids) is preferable, staff agrees with the other regulations that Maryland proposes. The Maryland proposal of 24-inches for northern pike and 15-inches for walleye will coincide with Pennsylvania's regulations for those species. Although Maryland's proposal on muskellunge is inconsistent with Pennsylvania's regulations, it is acceptable to staff because it is on the conservative side and should impact relatively few anglers based on staff's perception of a very low number of muskellunge in these waters. Staff also suggests that any reference to Amur pike under the northern pike component of the regulations be deleted as it is doubtful that any of these fish continue to exist. The Commission therefore adopted regulations increasing the size limits of northern pike, walleye and muskellunge in the Conowingo Reservoir and deleting any reference to Amur pike.

   (3)  Sections 65.2 and 65.6 (relating to delayed harvest fly-fishing-only areas; and delayed harvest artificial lures only areas). In the early 1980's, as part of modifying the special regulations program involved in trout management, the fishing hours for fly-fishing-only area were changed from ''1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset'' to ''1 hour before sunrise--except opening day which is 8 a.m. to 1 hour after sunset.'' This designation has continued through 1996 with Delayed Harvest waters even though there is no need to have the special clause for the opening day of trout season inasmuch as these waters are intended to be open year around. None of the other special regulation programs have such a restriction. It is staff's intention to have fishing hours on Delayed Harvest waters no more restrictive than on other waters in special regulation trout programs. Therefore, the Commission amended these regulations to delete the reference to 8 a.m. on opening day in both sections.

   (4)  Section 65.4a (relating to all-tackle trophy trout). A 7 mile stretch of Penns Creek, Centre County, and a 13.5 mile length of the Little Juniata River, Blair and Huntingdon Counties, where special regulations recently have been initiated (see § 65.24), form the basis for a program that is likely to grow as other select streams are considered. It is desirable to place this special regulation program under the same designation procedures applicable to other special regulations. This will make these special regulations easier to recognize in the license summary book and will provide a more systematic approach to this program. The Commission therefore adopted new regulations implementing the all-tackle trophy trout program.

   (5)  Section 65.22 (relating to trout streams open to sucker fishing). For several years, portions of a few select trout-stocked streams under § 65.22 were open to sucker fishing (worms only) during the normal spring closure for approved trout waters. The program was in recognition of the popularity of this springtime tradition and how approved trout water status limited use on these waters given the extent of the stocking program. Currently, portions of only two streams (that is, Fishing Creek, Clinton County, and Bald Eagle Creek, Centre County) are involved, and it seems appropriate to consider discontinuation of this special regulation. The need for these regulations is questionable. Some of the most popular/better sucker fishing areas on both waters are outside of that provided for in the regulations and are not designated approved trout waters. Stocking will provide greater flexibility in scheduling preseason trout anytime rather than just the week before opening day to minimize problems with the sucker fishery. It will also reduce the temptation for angling for trout using the worms-only sucker designation as a guise.

   (6)  Sections 69.21--69.39 (relating to commercial fishing). Act 1994-79 banned the use of gill nets for commercial fishing on boundary lakes, effective January 1, 1996. As former gill net licensees convert to trap nets, it has become necessary to update the current regulations relating to trap nets.

Fiscal Impact

   The amendments will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. The amendments will impose no new costs on the private sector or the general public.

G.  Paperwork

   The amendments adopted will not increase paperwork and will create no new paperwork requirements.

H.  Public Involvement

   A notice of proposed rulemaking containing the proposed amendments was published at 26 Pa.B. 5982 (December 14, 1996). With regard to the changes to §§ 69.21--69.39, staff also directly solicited comments from all licensed commercial fisherman on Lake Erie.

   None of the proposed changes attracted public comment except as follows:

   The Commission received one comment from a sportsmen's group that expressed strong support for the Commission's discontinuance of its program designating certain trout streams as open to sucker fishing during the period March 1 to the opening day of regular trout season in April, as set forth in § 65.22.

   The Commission also received one extensive and thoughtful comment regarding its proposed commercial fishing regulations set forth at §§ 69.21--69.39. The commentator offered many suggestions worthy of consideration. However, the extensive changes that he suggests, while within the scope of the proposed rulemaking, require further staff review and will profit from public input. Accordingly, the Commission adopted the regulations as proposed and will consider additional changes as proposed rulemaking at its spring 1997 meeting.


   The Commission finds that:

   (1)  Public notice of intention to adopt the amendments adopted by this order has been given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations promulgated thereunder 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.

   (2)  A public comment period was provided and that the comments received were considered.

   (3)  The adoption of the amendments of the Commission in the manner provided in this order is necessary and appropriate for administration and enforcement of the authorizing statutes.


   The Commission, acting under the authorizing statutes, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapters 61, 65 and 69, are amended by amending §§ 61.1, 61.4, 65.2, 65.6, 65.24, 69.21--69.24, 69.26, 69.33, 69.37 and 69.39 and deleting §§ 65.22, 69.29, 69.34 and 69.36 to read as set forth at 26 Pa.B. 5982; and by adding § 65.4a to read as set forth in Annex A.

   (b)  The Executive Director will submit this order, 26 Pa.B. 5982 and Annex A to the Office of Attorney General for approval as to legality as required by law.

   (c)  The Executive Director shall certify this order, 26 Pa.B. 5982 and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (d)  This order shall take effect immediately upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Executive Director

   Fiscal Note:  Fiscal Note 48A-61 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

Annex A



Subpart B.  FISHING


§ 65.4a.  All-tackle trophy trout.

   (a)  The Executive Director, with the approval of the Commission, may designate waters as all-tackle trophy trout areas. The designation of waters as all-tackle trophy trout areas shall be effective when the waters are so posted after publication of a notice of designation in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

   (b)  It is unlawful to fish in designated and posted all-tackle trophy trout area except in compliance with the following requirements:

   (1)  The program is open to fishing year-round; there is no closed season.

   (2)  Minimum size is: 14 inches, caught on, or in possession on, the waters under regulation.

   (3)  The daily creel limit is: two trout-combined species--from 8 a.m. on the opening day of trout season in April until midnight Labor Day, except during the period from the day after Labor Day to the opening day of regular trout season of the following year, when no trout may be killed or had in possession on the waters under regulation.

   (4)  A current trout/salmon permit is required.

   (c)  This section applies to trout only. Inland regulations apply to all other species.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 97-352. Filed for public inspection March 7, 1997, 9:00 a.m.]

No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.

This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Bulletin full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.