Fishing in Pennsylvania offers a diverse range of opportunities, from its 85,000 miles of rivers to thousands of lakes and over 100 state parks. To enjoy these waters, anglers need a valid fishing license. The cost of a fishing license in Pennsylvania varies based on several factors, including the type of license, the duration, and whether the angler is a resident or non-resident. Below is a comprehensive guide to the costs and types of fishing licenses available in Pennsylvania.

Resident Licenses

  • Annual License: $27.97
  • Senior Resident Annual License (65 and older): $14.47
  • Senior Resident Lifetime License (65 and older): $86.97
  • 1-Day License: $14.47 (not valid between March 15 and April 30)
  • 3-Year License: $79.97
  • 5-Year License: $131.97
  • 10-Year License: $261.97

Non-Resident Licenses

  • Annual License: $60.97
  • 1-Day License: $31.97 (not valid between March 15 and April 30)
  • 3-Day License: $31.97
  • 7-Day License: $39.97
  • 3-Year License: $178.97
  • 5-Year License: $296.97
  • 10-Year License: $591.97

Special Permits

  • Trout Permit: $14.97
  • Lake Erie Permit: $9.97
  • Combination Trout/Lake Erie Permit: $20.97

Additional Information

Who Needs a Pennsylvania Fishing License?

Every angler over the age of 16 needs a license to fish in Pennsylvania. This applies to both residents and non-residents, even when fishing with a guide or charter. Exceptions include active-duty military personnel on leave and “Fish For Free Days,” which occur on the final Sunday in May and on July 4 each year, allowing anglers to fish without a license or permit.

Where to Purchase a Fishing License

Licenses can be purchased online, over the phone, or in person at various authorized vendors throughout the state. The most convenient way for most people is online through the PA HuntFish website or the FishBoatPA app. Licenses are also available at over 700 retail locations, including hardware stores, bait and tackle shops, and Walmart.

Conservation Efforts

Fishing license fees support conservation initiatives, habitat restoration, and public access to fishing opportunities. By purchasing a license, anglers contribute to the preservation of Pennsylvania’s natural resources, ensuring a thriving environment for future generations.

Voluntary Permits

Voluntary permits are available to support specific conservation programs. These permits are optional and include:

  • Voluntary Bass Permit: $11.97 for 1 year, $33.97 for 3 years, $55.97 for 5 years, and $101.97 for 10 years.
  • Voluntary Musky Permit: $11.97 for 1 year, $33.97 for 3 years, $55.97 for 5 years, and $101.97 for 10 years.
  • Voluntary Habitat/Waterways Conservation Permit: $11.97 for 1 year, $33.97 for 3 years, $55.97 for 5 years, and $101.97 for 10 years.
  • Voluntary Wild Trout & Enhanced Waters Permit: $11.97 for 1 year, $33.97 for 3 years, $55.97 for 5 years, and $101.97 for 10 years.

Important Regulations

  • Displaying Your License: All licenses must be visible on your outer garment while fishing, and you must carry a valid driver’s license or ID.
  • Special Permits: An additional permit is required to fish on Lake Erie or to take home Trout or Salmon unless you have a 1-Day License.
  • Military Exemptions: Certain active-duty military personnel are exempt from the PA fishing license requirement under specific conditions.


Understanding the costs and requirements for a fishing license in Pennsylvania is essential for all anglers. By purchasing the appropriate license and permits, you not only comply with state regulations but also contribute to the conservation and enhancement of Pennsylvania’s rich fishing heritage. Whether you are a resident or a visitor, the Keystone State offers a wealth of fishing opportunities that are well worth the investment in a fishing license.

For more detailed information and to purchase your fishing license, visit the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s official website.

Who needs a Pennsylvania fishing license?

Anyone aged 16 and above is required to have a valid fishing license to fish or angle for any species of fish in Pennsylvania’s waters, with a few exceptions for active-duty military personnel and fish for free days.

Can I use my fishing license from another state in Pennsylvania?

No, fishing licenses from other states are not valid in Pennsylvania. You must purchase a Pennsylvania fishing license to legally fish in the state’s waters.

How long is a Pennsylvania fishing license valid?

Annual licenses are valid from December 1 of the current year through December 31 of the following year. Multi-year licenses are valid for the specified number of years from the date of purchase.

Where can I find information on fishing regulations and seasons?

The PFBC’s Fishing Summary/Boating Handbook outlines fishing and boating regulations, seasons, creel limits, and safety information. It’s available for free at license-issuing agents, PFBC offices, or online.

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