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2024 Pennsylvania Fishing License Costs: The Ultimate Guide

As an avid angler, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of casting your line into Pennsylvania’s pristine waters, waiting for that perfect catch. But before you can embark on your fishing adventure, you need to make sure you have a valid Pennsylvania fishing license. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the costs of fishing licenses in Pennsylvania for the 2024 season, ensuring you’re fully prepared to reel in the big one.

Why You Need a Fishing License in Pennsylvania

Purchasing a fishing license isn’t just a legal requirement in Pennsylvania – it’s also an investment in the future of our state’s aquatic ecosystems. The funds generated from fishing license sales go directly towards conservation efforts, habitat restoration, and stocking programs that keep our waters healthy and teeming with fish. By obtaining your license, you’re not only securing your ticket to outdoor adventure but also contributing to the preservation of Pennsylvania’s fishing heritage for generations to come.

Resident Fishing License Fees

For Pennsylvania residents aged 16-64, the cost of an annual fishing license for the 2024 season remains unchanged at $22.97. This license grants you the privilege of fishing in all of Pennsylvania’s waterways, from the mighty Susquehanna River to the tranquil lakes of the Pocono Mountains.

Senior residents aged 65 and above can enjoy a discounted annual fishing license for just $11.97. Additionally, senior residents have the option to purchase a lifetime fishing license for $51.97, providing them with unlimited fishing opportunities for the rest of their lives.

Non-Resident Fishing License Fees

If you’re visiting Pennsylvania from out of state, you’ll need to obtain a non-resident fishing license. For the 2024 season, the cost of an annual non-resident fishing license is $52.97. This license allows you to fish in all of Pennsylvania’s waters for the entire year, giving you ample time to explore the state’s diverse fishing opportunities.

For those planning shorter trips, Pennsylvania offers several convenient short-term fishing license options. A 7-day tourist fishing license costs $34.97, while a 3-day tourist license is available for $26.97. These licenses are perfect for weekend getaways or brief fishing excursions.

Trout and Salmon Permit

If you’re looking to target trout or salmon in Pennsylvania’s waters, you’ll need to purchase an additional trout/salmon permit. In 2024, the cost of this permit is $9.97. The funds generated from these permits support the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s trout stocking program, which annually releases millions of trout into hundreds of waterways across the state.

Lake Erie Permit

Anglers who plan to fish in the Pennsylvania waters of Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay, and their tributaries must possess a valid Lake Erie permit. This permit costs $9.97 for the 2024 season. Alternatively, anglers can purchase a combination trout/salmon and Lake Erie permit for $15.97, providing access to both trout/salmon waters and the Lake Erie watershed.

Purchasing Your Fishing License

Obtaining your Pennsylvania fishing license has never been easier. You can purchase your license online through the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s HuntFishPA website or through the FishBoatPA mobile app. These digital platforms allow you to conveniently buy your license from the comfort of your home and store it on your smartphone for easy access.

If you prefer a more traditional approach, you can visit one of the nearly 700 retail license issuing agents across the state, including bait and tackle shops, sporting goods stores, and county treasurer offices. Remember to bring along a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license, to verify your residency status.

Fishing License Exceptions

While most anglers are required to possess a valid Pennsylvania fishing license, there are a few notable exceptions. Active-duty military personnel who are Pennsylvania residents but stationed outside the state can fish without a license while on authorized leave. To qualify for this military waiver, anglers must carry their military ID and proof of their Pennsylvania residency and leave status.

Additionally, Pennsylvania offers two “Fish for Free Days” each year – the Sunday before Memorial Day and Independence Day. On these designated days, anyone can legally fish in Pennsylvania’s waters without a fishing license. These special events provide a fantastic opportunity to introduce newcomers to the joys of fishing and encourage lapsed anglers to rediscover their passion for the sport.


Obtaining your Pennsylvania fishing license is a simple yet essential step in ensuring a memorable and responsible fishing experience. By understanding the various license options, costs, and requirements for the 2024 season, you’ll be well-prepared to cast your line and create lasting fishing memories in the Keystone State.

Remember, your fishing license is more than just a legal necessity – it’s a symbol of your commitment to preserving Pennsylvania’s aquatic resources for future generations. Each time you purchase a license or permit, you’re contributing to the conservation and enhancement of our state’s fisheries, guaranteeing that anglers will continue to enjoy world-class fishing opportunities for years to come.

So, whether you’re a seasoned angler or a curious newcomer, make sure to secure your 2024 Pennsylvania fishing license before heading out on your next fishing adventure. With your license in hand and a sense of anticipation in your heart, you’ll be ready to experience the unparalleled beauty and excitement of fishing in Pennsylvania’s waters.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need a fishing license to fish in Pennsylvania?

Yes, a valid Pennsylvania fishing license is required for all anglers aged 16 and older who wish to fish in the state’s waters. Licenses can be purchased online, through the FishBoatPA mobile app, or at various retail license issuing agents across the state.

2. How long is a Pennsylvania fishing license valid?

Annual fishing licenses are valid for the entire calendar year, from January 1st to December 31st. However, licenses purchased between December 1st and December 31st of the previous year are valid immediately upon purchase and remain valid for the entire following calendar year.

3. Can I purchase a Pennsylvania fishing license as a gift?

Absolutely! You can purchase fishing license vouchers as gifts for family and friends. These vouchers can be redeemed for actual fishing licenses by the recipient. Vouchers are available for purchase online or at official license issuing agents, and they make perfect presents for the anglers in your life.

4. What if I lose my fishing license?

If you lose your fishing license, you can easily replace it online through the HuntFishPA website at no additional cost. Alternatively, you can visit a licensing agent to obtain a replacement license for a small fee.

5. Are there any discounts available for Pennsylvania fishing licenses?

Yes, there are several discounted fishing license options available. Senior residents aged 65 and above can purchase an annual fishing license for $11.97 or a lifetime license for $51.97. Additionally, certain active-duty military personnel who meet specific criteria may be exempt from needing a fishing license altogether.

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