How Much is a Fishing License in Pennsylvania? How to Get Your PA Fishing License

How Much is a Fishing License in Pennsylvania? How to Get Your PA Fishing License

How Much is a Fishing License in Pennsylvania? For state residents, the cost is $22.97 and nonresidents pay $52.97 for an annual license. A $9.97 trout permit is also required if you’re fishing for trout. For those who also fish for steelhead in Erie, you can opt for a trout/Lake Erie combo permit for $15.97.

Read on for more detailed information.

Who Needs a Pennsylvania Fishing License?

To fish in the state, you must have a license if you are over 16. Even when fishing with a guide or charter, this rule applies to both locals and visitors. To fish on Lake Erie or bring salmon or trout home, you’ll need more than just a regular license.

PA citizens on military leave serving outside the state are not covered by this. Instead, they should carry proof of residency and status in the armed forces (PA driver’s license, military ID, and valid military orders showing the place of assignment and leave status).

“Fish For Free Days” are the only other exception. Every year, anglers from all over the world are allowed to fish without a license or permit on the final Sunday in May and on July 4.

How Much is a Fishing License in Pennsylvania How to Get Your PA Fishing License
How Much is a Fishing License in Pennsylvania? How to Get Your PA Fishing License

Where Can I Buy a Pennsylvania Fishing License?

ou know you need a license, but where should you get it? Simple – just pick up your license in any of the following ways and you’re set:

  • In person.Visit one of the state’s more than 1,300 vendors. They are typically sold in hardware stores, tackle shops, and large retailers like Walmart.
  • Online. The easiest way to purchase a license is through this method. It’s valid as soon as you pay, so just print it out and you’re good to go.
  • By Phone. You can also buy a license over the phone at 877-707-4085.

Your social security number must be provided when applying for a fishing license or permit in Pennsylvania. So that everything goes smoothly, make sure to have it on hand.

When Do PA Fishing Licenses Expire?

All tourist short-term fishing licenses expire the exact number of days after you purchase them. For instance, a 3-Day Fishing License purchased on a Monday expires at midnight on Wednesday or Thursday.

Similar reasoning applies to annual and multi-year licenses. You’ll have up until the end of the final year of validity to fish using that license. So, if you purchased a 10-Year License in 2017, it will be valid until the very last second of December 31, 2026.

Does Pennsylvania Have Free Fishing Days?

Yes, like most US states, Pennsylvania does have free fishing days. On Monday, July 4 and Monday, May 29, 2022, fishing was free. On these days, everyone in Pennsylvania can fish the state’s waterways between 00:01 hrs and 23:59 hrs without permits or licenses. (source) Permits for Lake Erie or salmon/trout fishing are not required.

You must, however, abide by all other fishing laws and rules, such as the daily catch limit and staying away from the restricted species. You should release any fish you catch afterward if you have to in order to avoid fines. And it would be best if you stayed away from any and all waterways that were off-limits to fishing during that time.

How Much is a Fishing License in Pennsylvania How to Get Your PA Fishing License
How Much is a Fishing License in Pennsylvania? How to Get Your PA Fishing License

Types of Fishing License and Costs in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a fantastic destination for anglers and offers a variety of fishing options. They started by developing a license for every age group, for both residents and non-residents. Residents of all ages are eligible to apply for lifetime licenses. Therefore, we must first focus on the various types of fishing licenses available in Pennsylvania before talking about the license price.

Resident and Non-resident Annual Fishing License

Generally, these licenses are for adults over 16 years old who plan to fish in PA. However, residents between the ages of 16 and 64 are eligible for resident fishing licenses. They do have a package specifically for senior citizens. On the other hand, the non-resident annual fishing license is ideal for everyone over 16 years old. Senior non-residents can thus only apply for the adult annual non-resident license.

To apply for a resident fishing license, you need the following documents:

  • A valid Pennsylvania voters card
  • Previous year’s tax return indicating proof that you filed your taxes
  • Pennsylvania driver’s license
  • Valid PA photo ID

Prisoner of War and National Guard and Armed Forces Reserve License

These two fishing licenses are available to members of the National Guard and Armed Forces only in Pennsylvania, unlike the other states in America. They can benefit from a number of privileges and fish in Pennsylvania after their trip abroad thanks to this license.

You must provide evidence that you were deployed abroad for the previous two years in order to be eligible for these licenses. Additionally, for 60 straight days, you must have been a member of the reserve component of the military. And a disease or injury you acquired while defending your country caused you to be released early. (source)

Senior Lifetime and Senior Resident Licenses

When a resident reaches the age of 65, they may apply for one of these licenses, which are available to those over 65. Fortunately, you won’t require a trout permit if you obtained your senior resident lifetime license before January 1, 1991. However, you are exempt from having to buy a trout permit every year if you purchased one before January 1, 2015. (source)

Disabled Veterans Licenses

The disabled veteran’s license is yet another exceptional benefit for veterans in Pennsylvania. In general, all disabled veterans who suffered an injury while serving may apply for this license. You are eligible for this license if you have completely lost both of your limbs, one of your eyesight, or both. If you fall under this category, you can apply for your license at the commissioner’s or county treasurer’s office.

1-Day Resident and 1-Day Non-resident Licenses

Other than an annual license, Pennsylvania does have a 1-day option for folks planning on trying short-term fishing. These licenses are offered to both residents and non-residents, but regrettably they aren’t offered or valid from March 15 to April 30 of every year. (source)

The 1-day fishing license has a 24-hour validity period, as its name implies. Consequently, it will end on your purchase at 23:59.

Trout Permit

Every angler who wants to fish for trout also needs to obtain a trout permit. You will need the trout permit if:

  • While fishing, you capture or kill a trout.
  • You intend to fish in areas subject to trout regulations.
  • You plan to fish in the waterways designated as stocked between February 21 and May 31.
  • In class A wild trout waters, you want to go trout fishing.
How Much is a Fishing License in Pennsylvania How to Get Your PA Fishing License
How Much is a Fishing License in Pennsylvania? How to Get Your PA Fishing License

Where Can I Get the Fishing Regulations in Pennsylvania?

You are not entitled to fish anywhere and to keep as many fish as you want just because you have a Pennsylvania fishing license and a trout permit. It also doesn’t give you the right to access privately-owned ponds. After all, there are several rules and regulations that you have to follow to fish legally in Pennsylvania.

These laws, which specify when and where you can fish, are made by the hunting and fishing department. They also establish the number of fish anyone can carry after fishing and the season during which certain fish species may be fished. These regulations are there to guarantee the continuity of the fish species in the state.

And breaking these laws can cost you dearly in fines. Therefore, you should read these rules before leaving your house if you don’t want to lose your license or incur any penalties. On Pennsylvania’s official website or by clicking the following link, you can find these guidelines.

What is the Fishing License Age Requirement for Pennsylvania?

You can take your kids on a fishing trip because fishing is legal everywhere in the United States, including Pennsylvania. Thankfully, no fishing license is necessary in Pennsylvania for children under the age of 16 who are both residents and non-residents. All seniors over 65 must obtain a seniors fishing license, which is uncommon for most states.

Senior non-residents, on the other hand, must apply for an adult annual fishing license, which is best for anglers over the age of 16. For locals, anglers between the ages of 16 and 64 can use the annual fishing license.


Is There a Disabled Veteran Discount for Out-of-state Anglers?

No. To qualify for a discounted veteran or senior license in PA, one must be a resident in the state.

Do I Need Both a Regular Fishing License and a Trout/Salmon License If I Am Fishing for Trout/Salmon?

Yes, you need both the standard fishing license and the extra Trout/Salmon permit in order to fish for trout and salmon.

I Lost My Fishing License/stamp. What Do I Do?

Inability to locate your license You can purchase another one for only $6.90, so don’t worry. Apply for a fishing license at any vendor statewide, either in person or online.

Can I Fish in Trout Stocked Waters Or Wilderness Trout Streams Without a Permit If I’m Catching and Releasing?

No, a trout stamp is required whether you are harvesting or releasing fish in order to fish in trout-stocked waters or any designated trout stream in Pennsylvania.

Summary: How Much is a Fishing License in Pennsylvania?

It is obvious that those who purchase these voluntary permits are changing the caliber of fishing in the upcoming years. While they are not affordable for everyone’s budget, it makes sense to donate a little extra to make public fishing areas better than in the past.

Good luck fishing.