Fishing is more than just a hobby in Pennsylvania – it’s a beloved tradition deeply woven into the fabric of the state’s culture and natural heritage. With over 86,000 miles of streams and rivers, plus numerous lakes and ponds, Pennsylvania’s waters offer anglers a true angler’s paradise.

However, before you can cast your line and experience the thrill of reeling in that prized catch, you need to ensure you have the proper fishing license. Not only is it a legal requirement for anyone 16 years or older to possess a valid license when fishing in Pennsylvania, but the fees collected also play a crucial role in funding the state’s conservation efforts.

Summary of Pennsylvania Fishing License Costs for 2024

Here’s a quick overview of the major fishing license types and costs in Pennsylvania for 2024:

License TypeResidentNon-Resident
Senior Annual (65+)$14.47
Senior Lifetime$86.97

Additional permits like the Trout Permit ($14.97) and Lake Erie Permit ($9.97) may also be required depending on your fishing plans.

Resident Fishing License Fees for 2024

If you call Pennsylvania home, you’ll need to obtain a resident fishing license to legally fish in the state’s waters. Here are the costs for 2024:

  • Annual Resident Fishing License: $27.97 (increased by $2.50 from 2023)
  • Senior Resident Annual License (ages 65 and older): $14.47
  • Senior Resident Lifetime License: $86.97 (one-time fee)

Residents aged 64 can purchase the Senior Resident Lifetime License if they will turn 65 by June 30 of the current license year, providing a cost-effective option for those eligible.

Insider Tip: Consider a Multi-Year Resident License

If you’re an avid angler who plans to fish in Pennsylvania for multiple years, the PFBC offers multi-year resident fishing licenses that can save you money in the long run:

  • 3-Year Resident License: $76.91 (a $7 savings compared to buying three annual licenses)
  • 5-Year Resident License: $119.85 (a $20 savings)
  • 10-Year Resident License: $219.70 (a $60 savings)

By opting for a multi-year license, you can lock in current rates and avoid potential fee increases, all while enjoying the convenience of not having to renew your license annually.

Non-Resident Fishing License Costs for 2024

For those visiting Pennsylvania from out of state, a non-resident fishing license is required to legally fish in the state’s waters. Here are the fees for 2024:

  • Annual Non-Resident Fishing License: $60.97 (increased by $4 from 2023)
  • Non-Resident Student License: $27.97 (for full-time students attending a Pennsylvania college/university)
  • Tourist Licenses:
  • 1-Day: $31.97 (not valid March 15 – April 30)
  • 3-Day: $31.97
  • 7-Day: $39.47

Tip for Frequent Visitors: Multi-Year Non-Resident Licenses

If you frequently visit Pennsylvania for fishing trips, consider a multi-year non-resident license:

  • 3-Year Non-Resident License: $166.91 (a $16 savings)
  • 5-Year Non-Resident License: $259.85 (a $45 savings)
  • 10-Year Non-Resident License: $499.70 (a $110 savings)

Lock in rates and enjoy convenience by not renewing annually.

Special Permits and Discounts

  • Trout Permit: $14.97 (required for trout fishing)
  • Lake Erie Permit: $9.97 (required for Lake Erie fishing)
  • Combination Trout/Lake Erie Permit: $20.97


  • Disabled veterans, former POWs: Free licenses/permits
  • Active military on leave: Free with valid military ID
  • Legally blind residents: Free with proof of blindness

Check PFBC website for eligibility requirements.

Where to Purchase

  • Online: or FishBoatPA mobile app
  • Over 700 license-issuing agents statewide
  • PFBC regional offices

Provide proof of residency for resident licenses.

Money-Saving Tips

  • Multi-year licenses offer big savings
  • Senior discounts for ages 65+
  • $2.97 Voluntary Youth License supports programs
  • Gift vouchers for gifting fishing experiences
  • Combination permits for trout and Lake Erie

By taking advantage of these options, you can enjoy Pennsylvania’s renowned fishing at a great value while supporting conservation.

Obtaining your Pennsylvania fishing license is crucial for legal angling and preserving aquatic resources. With clear pricing, convenient purchasing, and cost-saving opportunities, the PFBC makes it easy to explore the Keystone State’s world-class waters responsibly. So get your license, grab your gear, and experience the thrill of fishing in Pennsylvania’s angler’s paradise!

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