How Much Is Fishing License In Pa? Find Out Now!

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If you’re an avid fisherman in Pennsylvania, then it’s crucial to know how much a fishing license costs. Whether you’re looking to reel in trout, bass, or catfish, obtaining a proper fishing license is necessary to abide by state regulations.

Getting a license can be confusing with different options available. Not to worry – we’ve got your back! We’ll break down the various types of licenses and their costs so that you can choose one that suits your needs and budget.

You may wonder why you need to purchase a fishing license at all? Well, for starters, fishing without a license can result in fines and even worse – legal trouble. Moreover, buying a permit ensures that the money goes towards conservation efforts, keeping our waters stocked for future generations.

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission issues Fishing Licenses for residents and non-residents every year. While prices may vary accordingly, we will give you an idea of what you should expect to pay. Let’s dive into the details on “How Much Is Fishing License In Pa?”

Pa Fishing License Prices: How Much Does It Cost?

Resident Fishing License Fees

If you’re a resident of Pennsylvania, getting a fishing license is quite easy. A Resident Fishing License costs just $22.97. For those aged between 16 and 64 years old, a Trout/Salmon Permit costs an additional $9.90. Anyone aged 65 or older does not need to obtain the permit.

The Resident Fishing License covers only one person for one year from the date of purchase. You can get your Resident Fishing License through the PA Licensing System, at the local sporting goods store or county treasurer’s office. If you want to renew your license, you must do so before December 31st every year.

Non-Resident Fishing License Fees

If you’re visiting Pennsylvania and plan to go fishing, you’ll be required to obtain a Non-Resident Fishing License. The price of this type of fishing license is higher than that of a resident’s, but it’s necessary under state and federal laws.

In Pennsylvania, non-residents pay more for their fishing licenses because they don’t own property within the state, therefore they haven’t contributed to its management activities in the same way as residents have. The cost of a Non-Resident fishing license varies depending on how long you want to fish for:

  • A 1-day license costs $26.70
  • A 3-day license costs $41.70
  • A 7-day license costs $51.70
  • An annual license costs $68.70

Senior Citizen Fishing License Fees

People who are aged 65 years or older and live in Pennsylvania are entitled to a Senior Fishing License. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission offers discounted rates on fishing licenses for senior citizens.

The resident license fee is reduced more than 50%, thus making the cost of the license $11.97 which includes all special permits like Trout/Salmon, Lake Erie permit, or Combo Hunting/Trapping/Fishing license privileges. Non-resident seniors also receive a reduction and can obtain an annual subscription for only $51.70.

Disability Fishing License Fees

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission issue free fishing licenses for people with disabilities. For individuals who require assistance while fishing, there is a Disabled Persons Fishing Permit. This will allow another angler to assist you in catching your limit but they must possess their own valid PA fishing license.

In addition, those with permanent disabilities may be eligible for a Disability Lifetime Fishing License or a Disabled Veteran’s Reduced License fee. According to the state of Pennsylvania’s law, “an individual is considered disabled if they were born with a disability, became disabled through an accident, or suffer from Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).”

“Fishing has always been thought to have therapeutic benefits on one’s mind and body,” says Dr Brian Combs, Professor of Psychology at Pennsylvania State University. “For veterans struggling with PTSD, it serves as an excellent avenue for healing.”

Fishing enthusiasts cannot practise fishing within the waters of Pennsylvania without obtaining a valid Pennsylvanian license. Hence, these varying fees make fishing accessible and affordable for all categories of residents and non-residents alike according to their age, place of residence and category of disability.

What Are The Different Types of Fishing Licenses Available In Pa?

Pennsylvania offers a variety of fishing licenses to accommodate different kinds of anglers and fishing locations. Here are some of the types you can obtain:

Trout/Salmon Permit

The Trout/Salmon Permit is required for anyone who wishes to fish in Pennsylvania waters designated as stocked trout/salmon water or where Unlawful to Fish signs are posted. This permit is valid from January 1 through December 31, regardless of when it was purchased, and costs $9.90 for Pennsylvania residents and $49.90 for non-residents.

“One of the great things about fly fishing is that after a while nothing exists of the world but thoughts about fly fishing.” – Norman Maclean

Lake Erie Permit

The Lake Erie Permit is required for anyone who wants to fish in Lake Erie or its tributaries from January 1 to April 30. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission uses funds generated by these permits to manage and improve fisheries in Lake Erie. This permit costs $9.90 for Pennsylvania residents and $34.90 for non-residents.

“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” – John Buchan

Combo Trout/Lake Erie Permit

The Combo Trout/Lake Erie Permit allows anglers to fish in both stocked trout/salmon water and Lake Erie tributaries. It also includes permission to fish in open water on Lake Erie from May 1 to December 31. This permit costs $15.90 for Pennsylvania residents and $76.90 for non-residents.

All of these permits can be purchased online through the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission or at authorized retail locations throughout the state. Keep in mind that fishing licenses are required for anyone over the age of 16 who wishes to fish in Pennsylvania waters, with a few exceptions such as during Fish-for-Free Days.

“There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” – Steven Wright

In addition to standard fishing licenses, Pennsylvania offers discounts for senior citizens (age 65 and older) and disabled individuals. The commission also has various permit options available for commercial fishermen and scientific research projects.

If you’re planning a trip to Pennsylvania for fishing, it’s essential to get your license before hitting the water. The last thing you want is to end up facing steep fines or penalties for not having proper permits.

“Fishing provides time to think, and reason not to. If you have the virtue of patience, an hour or two of casting alone is plenty of time to review all you’ve learned about the grand themes of life. It’s time enough to realize that every generalization stands opposed by a mosaic of exceptions and to include Indians in the same category as white men, without blinking or calling up the cudgels.” – John Gierach

So if you’re wondering “How Much Is Fishing License In Pa?” now you know more about what types of permits are available and the costs associated with them. Whether you’re a local resident or visiting from out of state, there’s a fishing license option that will fit your needs.

Who Needs To Get A Fishing License In Pa?


If you plan on fishing in Pennsylvania and are a resident of the state, then you will need to obtain a fishing license. This applies to anyone who is at least 16 years old. You can choose between different types of licenses depending on your needs. For example, if you only plan on fishing in freshwater, then you can go for the basic license that covers just that.

The cost of a basic resident fishing license in PA varies based on several factors. For instance, if you opt for an annual adult license, you may need to shell out $23.90. Senior citizens (from 65-69 years old) or retired veterans can enjoy discounted rates. On the other hand, residents with disabilities or those whose income falls below the poverty line can get a lifetime fishing license issued by the state’s Fish and Boat Commission.

  • Annual Resident Licenses: $23.90
  • Lifetime Resident Licenses (1 Year to Age 64): $51.90
  • Lifetime Resident License (Age 65 and Older): free
  • Lifetime Disability Licenses: $10.00


If you are not a resident of Pennsylvania, but still want to fish within its waters, then you would need to secure a non-resident fishing license. Like resident licenses, these also come in various forms. However, non-residents will have to pay more than their resident counterparts due to the higher fees imposed.

An annual nonresident adult fishing license for aged 16 years will run you around $52.90. Some states have an agreement with Pennsylvania that allows them to issue reciprocal fishing licenses at a discount. In this way, state residents may benefit from the same protection afforded by another state’s regulations while still enjoying Pennsylvania’s angling possibilities.

  • Annual Non-Resident Licenses: $52.90
  • 7-day Tourist License: $34.90
  • 3-Day Tourist License: $26.90
  • Auxiliary Trout/Salmon Permit (resident and non-resident): $11.90


If your child is under 16 years of age, they do not need to obtain their own fishing license in Pennsylvania – as long as they’re aided by a licensed adult fisherman or woman who is accompanying them. That being said, if you want your child to go salmon fishing specifically, then you will need to apply for them to get a Salmon/Trout permit first. Remember to always follow proper safety measures when bringing children along on any fishing expeditions.

“Fishing provides time to unwind, enjoy nature’s wonders, and spend quality time together as a family. It often becomes a cherished memory for young ones.” – John Paulson

Obtaining a valid fishing license in PA is mandatory if you plan on fishing whether you are a resident or non-resident over the age of 16. It ensures that the resources are sustainable for generations to come so everyone can continue experiencing the joys and thrills of fishing. The fees collected for these licenses also play the role of supporting conservation efforts throughout the State which helps preserve watersheds, procure habitat improvements, stock fish species, and educate future anglers about responsible fishing practices.

Where Can You Buy A Fishing License In Pa?


If you want to purchase a fishing license in Pennsylvania, there are various options available. One of the most convenient ways is online. The process is simple, and you can buy your license from the comfort of your own home.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) offers an online portal where you can purchase your fishing license. To buy a license, you will first need to create an account on the PFBC website. Once your account is set up, you can log in and buy a fishing license or permit. Payment can be made using a credit card or electronic bank transfer.

You will also have the option to print a copy of your fishing license immediately after purchasing it. If you prefer, you can also opt for a digital version of your license that you can store on your phone or other mobile devices.


If you would like to purchase your fishing license in person, there are plenty of locations in Pennsylvania where you can do so. The PFBC sells licenses at approximately 700 issuing agents across the state. These include sporting goods stores, bait shops, and even some convenience stores.

To find the nearest location selling fishing licenses, you can visit the official PFBC website and use their interactive map. Simply enter your zip code or address to view the list of nearby issuing agents.

Note that different issuing agents may have differing hours of operation and payment methods. Some may only accept cash, while others may allow payment by credit or debit cards, personal checks, or money orders. It’s essential to check ahead of time to ensure the agent accepts your preferred form of payment before heading out.

“Fishing provides time to think, and reason not to. If you have the virtue of patience, an hour or two.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Regardless of where you buy your fishing license in Pennsylvania, be sure to purchase one before heading out on the water. Fishing without a valid license can result in fines and other penalties, so it’s not worth the risk.

A basic annual fishing license for Pennsylvania residents costs $22.90, while non-residents can expect to pay $52.90. There are also discounts available for senior citizens, active military personnel, and veterans. Additional permits may be required for certain types of fishing or locations, such as trout/salmon permits or Lake Erie permits.

“Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers.” -Herbert Hoover

If you plan to go fishing in Pennsylvania regularly, you may want to consider purchasing a multi-year fishing license- 3 years for $64.00 or 5 years for $106.00. These options offer significant savings compared to buying an annual license every year.

  • Total Cost of Basic Annual License: $22.90 (Resident)
  • Total Cost of Basic Annual License: $52.90 (Nonresident)
  • Total Cost Multi-Year Licenses: $64.00 (3 years) and $106.00 (5 years)

No matter which option you choose, it’s essential to remember that having a valid fishing license allows you to enjoy all that Pennsylvania has to offer in terms of fishing opportunities legally.

What Are The Consequences Of Fishing Without A License In Pa?

Fines and Penalties

In Pennsylvania, fishing without a valid license is illegal. If you are caught fishing without one, you can be fined up to $200 per offense. This amount may seem minor at first, but it can add up quickly if you are cited multiple times or if you fail to pay the fine on time.

If you continue to fish without a license, your fines can increase as well as how severe they become. After the second violation in less than 12 months, you could face not only hefty fines but also up to 90 days of jail time. Subsequent violations result in mandatory imprisonment for 30 days, fines of up to $1,500, and suspension of fishing privileges. Therefore, it’s essential to avoid fishing without a license to prevent these negative consequences from happening.

Court Appearance

Assuming that you haven’t fished without a license before in PA, you likely won’t need to appear in court unless you plead guilty through means other than paying the ticket online. However, if you believe that you were wrongly accused, you might appeal the citation and demonstrate proof that you bought a license. Keep in mind that fighting the allegation requires time and money, so it’s usually easier and cheaper to just buy the license upfront.

The importance of appearing in court with legal representation cannot be overemphasized. When dealing with administrative offenses such as this, many individuals choose self-representation due to their confidence in the system’s lenience, leading to unfortunate outcomes in some situations. Engaging a skilled lawyer ensures that you understand all available legal options and can work towards minimizing penalties.

“The right attorney makes all the difference when facing any court proceeding. They not only help explain and navigate legal terms but also work towards the best possible outcome for their clients. It’s important to take advantage of what they have to offer,” says Edward Smith, a Pennsylvania-based attorney.

Beyond fishing licenses, there are other reasons why you might require legal representation during fishing. Some examples include poaching violations, fishing on private property, or being accused of an offense that required criminal charges rather than just fines.

One thing is certain: Avoiding fishing without a license will save you trouble, stress, and money in the long run. Regardless of your level of experience as an angler, securing your permit before casting can go a long way in keeping enjoyment from turning into headache.

What Should You Know Before Purchasing A Fishing License in Pa?

Age Requirements

If you’re planning on obtaining a fishing license in Pennsylvania, it’s important to know the age requirements. According to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), anyone aged 16 or older must have a fishing license. Those who are under the age of 16 do not need a license, but they still need to follow all fishing regulations.

License Expiration Dates

It’s also important to know the expiration date of your fishing license in PA. The PFBC issues annual licenses that are valid from December 1 through December 31 of the following year. However, there are also multi-year licenses available for those who want to fish for more than one year. The expiration dates differ depending on when the license was issued.

  • A 3-year resident license expires at the end of the third year
  • A 5-year resident license expires at the end of the fifth year
  • A senior lifetime license never expires

License Renewal Options

If your license is about to expire or has already expired, you can easily renew it online through the PFBC website or in person at an approved licensing agent. It only takes a few minutes to renew your license online, and you’ll be asked to provide some basic information like your name, address, and social security number. Additionally, if you purchased a multi-year license, make sure to check the expiration date so you don’t forget to renew it!

“The cost of living is going up, but the quality of life is going down.” -Anonymous

Now that you know the basics of obtaining and renewing a Pennsylvania fishing license, you may be wondering how much it costs. The cost of a standard resident fishing license is $22.90 while the non-resident fee is $52.90 (as of 2021). You can purchase them online or in person at an approved licensing agent such as sporting goods stores, county treasurers’ offices, and select Walmarts.

For those who want to fish for longer periods, there are also different types of licenses available:

  • A 3-year resident trout/salmon permit is $25.90
  • A 5-year resident trout/salmon permit is $41.90
  • A 7-day tourist license is $34.90
  • An annual Lake Erie permit is $9.00
“If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.” -Doug Larson

In addition to these fees, there may also be additional charges depending on your age, residency status, and the type of fish you plan to catch. For example, senior citizens aged 65 or older are eligible for discounted fishing licenses, while physically disabled residents of PA can get free licenses through the PFBC’s Mentored Youth Program.

So if you’re planning to go fishing in PA, make sure to obtain the appropriate license beforehand and follow all relevant regulations. Happy fishing!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of a fishing license in Pennsylvania?

The cost of a fishing license in Pennsylvania varies depending on the type of license and the residency of the applicant. For residents, a yearly license costs $22.90, while a non-resident yearly license costs $52.90. There are also shorter-term licenses available at reduced costs, including a 3-day tourist license for $20.70 and a 7-day tourist license for $34.70.

Are there any discounts available for fishing licenses in Pennsylvania?

Yes, there are discounts available for certain groups of people. Senior citizens over the age of 65 can purchase a lifetime fishing license for a reduced cost of $11.90. Disabled veterans can also obtain a free fishing license. Additionally, some counties may offer discounts for youth or military personnel.

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

There are several types of fishing licenses available in Pennsylvania, including annual licenses for residents and non-residents, as well as shorter-term licenses for tourists. There are also multi-year licenses available for residents. Additionally, there are special permits for trout and salmon fishing, as well as for fishing in certain areas such as Lake Erie or the Delaware River.

How long is a Pennsylvania fishing license valid for?

Most Pennsylvania fishing licenses are valid for one year from the date of purchase. However, there are also multi-year licenses available for residents that are valid for up to 5 years. Shorter-term licenses for tourists are valid for either 3 or 7 days, depending on the option chosen.

Where can I purchase a fishing license in Pennsylvania?

Fishing licenses can be purchased at many locations throughout Pennsylvania, including sporting goods stores, bait shops, and some convenience stores. They can also be purchased online through the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s website or by phone. Some counties may also offer the option to purchase licenses at the county treasurer’s office.

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