Pennsylvania Fishing License

Pennsylvania Fishing license

All license fees are used to support wildlife management programs and help with conservation efforts. Purchasing a Pennsylvania fishing license is not only the law but is a great way to contribute to habitat restoration to promote a thriving environment for the local wildlife. In return, that means more and better outdoor activities for us to catch healthy fish and have quality hunting experiences.

There are many options to purchase licenses. The most convenient way for most people is online, whether on the state’s government wildlife website or through their app. Another option is in person at many stores that sell sporting goods. To get a fishing license or permit, you need your driver’s license and social security number.

Where To Purchase A Pennsylvania Fishing License


Anglers can buy their fishing license and permit online at the PA HuntFish website or through the app FishBoatPA.


Anglers can call and purchase a fishing license over the phone at 877-707-4085


Pennsylvania has over a thousand vendors throughout the state that sell licenses to be purchased in person. These generally consist of retail stores such as hardware stores, bait and tackle stores, and Walmart.

Who Needs To Get A PA Fishing License

Anybody 16 and over (who isn’t exempt) is required to have a valid fishing license in Pennsylvania. This age requirement goes for both residents and non-residents and applies even on freshwater fishing charters with a captain.

PA fishing license Exceptions

Some exceptions apply to active-duty military personnel and on fish for free days. 

  1. Certain active-duty military personnel are exempt from the PA fishing license requirement. An angler must qualify at the following to be eligible for the military waiver.
  • be a Pennsylvania bona fide resident
  • be on active duty
  • be stationed outside Pennsylvania
  • be here on authorized leave status

Under the law, a qualifying sailor, soldier, marine, or airman does not receive a free Pennsylvania fishing license. Only eligible active duty military personnel can fish legally without a fishing license under the limited circumstances outlined in the law. The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission recommends that anglers taking advantage of this display a military ID while fishing in the same way one would display a regular fishing license. (Qualified military personnel should carry proof of PA driver’s license, valid military orders showing the place of assignment and leave status, and military ID)

2.”Fish For Free Days” are the only other exception to purchasing a PA fishing license besides the military exception for a qualifying soldier. Every year, on the last Sunday in May and the 4th of July, anglers from all over can fish without any permit or fishing licenses.

Pennsylvania Fishing license

Types of Fishing Licenses and Costs

The license types available to purchase and their price vary for residents, a senior resident, and non-residents.

A resident 65 and older qualifies for the senior resident license. Non-residents have more short-term fishing license options, perfect for vacations and other limited-time trips, while the resident fishing license options include more multi-year licenses. Anglers qualify for a resident fishing license if they are a bona fide Pennsylvania resident. Regulations require they must carry proof of permanent residency.

1-Day Fishing licenses are not valid between March 15 and April 30. However, this license does cover you to fish on Lake Erie and keep Trout and Salmon.

Resident Fishing License

1-Day $11.97

Annual $22.97

3-Year $64.97

5-Year $106.97

10-Year $211.97

Senior Resident

Annual $11.97

3-Year $31.97

5-Year $51.97

Senior resident Lifetime $51.97


1-Day $26.97

3-Day $26.97

7-Day $34.97

Annual $52.97

3-Year $154.97

5-Year $256.97

10-Year $511.97

Special Permits

Unless you have a 1-Day fishing license, an additional permit is required to legally fish Lake Erie, in addition to the regular fishing license. A permit is also required to take home Trout or Salmon.

These permits can be purchased individually or together as a package to cover both Lake Erie and Salmon/Trout.

Individually $9.90

Combo package $15.90

Those with a lifetime Resident Fishing License have a few additional options for these permits.


Annual $9.97

3-Year $25.97

5-Year $41.97

10-Year $81.97

Combo Package

Annual $15.97

3-Year $43.97

5-Year $71.97

10-Year $141.97

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. There is the option to apply for a $10 fishing badge that acts as a license without worrying about carrying it with you.

Pennsylvania Agreements with Nearby States

Pennsylvania has reached an agreement with some of its neighbors, allowing anglers to fish there with their PA license:

  • Maryland: Along the Youghiogheny and Conowingo Rivers from a boat.
  • New Jersey: The Delaware River, from a boat or New Jersey’s shores.
  • New York: The Delaware River, from a boat or New Jersey’s shores.
  • Ohio: The Pymatuning River from a boat.
Summer Erie Fishing Charters
Pennsylvania valid military orders showing