2021 Pennsylvania Fishing Licenses, Permits, and Gift Vouchers Are on Sale

HARRISBURG, PA — During a time when more people than ever are looking for fun and affordable ways to enjoy the outdoors by themselves, or safely with family and friends, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) reminds anglers that 2021 fishing licenses are now on sale.

Beginning December 1, 2020, fishing licenses, permits, and vouchers can be purchased online at www.fishandboat.com or by visiting one of nearly 700 retail license issuing agents. 2021 licenses, permits, and vouchers purchased now are valid immediately for up to 13 months, through December 31, 2021.

“Whether you’re looking to get a jump on next season, or you’ve got holiday gift giving in mind, a fishing license or voucher will keep you and others connected to the outdoors,” said Amber Nabors, Director of the PFBC Bureau of Outreach, Education, and Marketing.  “When you buy a fishing license now, you really get the most value for your dollar and you’ll be covered for every fishing season for the rest of this year and next year.”

Purchasing a fishing license can be done easily, conveniently, and safely online from your computer or smartphone.  Licenses may be printed immediately upon purchase or saved digitally to a smart device which serves as proof of possession.  While many customers still prefer to purchase fishing licenses in person from local retailers, online purchases can save time and limit exposure to large crowds in stores during the holiday season, and can help you avoid long lines when many anglers purchase their licenses closer to the spring trout season.

In addition to licenses and permits, such as the trout or Lake Erie permits, customers may choose to purchase vouchers that can be given as gifts and be redeemed by recipients.

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“Vouchers make great gifts for the avid angler in your life, but they can also be a great way to introduce someone new the sport,” added Nabors.  “If you know someone who you think would enjoy fishing, especially now when we can all use more time outdoors, buying them a license voucher can be the nudge they need to join you on the water this year.”

The price of an annual resident fishing license in 2021 is still $22.90.  Multi-year options are also available in 3, 5, and 10-year increments.  The most popular add-ons, a trout permit and a Lake Erie permit cost $9.90 each, or $15.90 for a combination permit which includes both privileges.

Once again for the 2021 license year, customers can purchase a collectible fishing license button for $10.00.  This year’s button features a Chain Pickerel design and is customized with the angler’s individual license number.  Please note that buttons are not issued at the time of purchase and will be mailed to the buyer typically within 3-4 weeks.

In 2021, anglers who visit a license issuing agent in person can receive the Fishing Summary/Boating Handbook free of charge.  The book outlines current fishing and boating regulations, seasons and creel limits, and safety information, and includes advertising and coupons.  An identical, digital version of the book can be viewed and printed for free on the PFBC website, or viewed on the free FishBoatPA mobile app for smart phones.  Customers should note that 2021 Fishing Summary/Boating Handbooks are still being shipped to retail locations in early December and may not be immediately available at all locations.  Customers should access the free online version or return to a retail location at a later date for a free printed copy.

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“Pennsylvania anglers really have a lot to look forward to in 2021,” added Nabors. “We made a lot of exciting improvements to our stocking operations ahead of the 2020 season that included doubling the number of trophy-sized trout that had been stocked in lakes and streams across the state in previous years.  We also increased the number of golden Rainbow Trout that we stocked prior to last year’s spring trout season and began stocking them in-season for the first time ever.  Those improvements will once again be in place in 2021, so the chances that you’ll catch one of these special trout continues to be better than ever.”

Customers who purchase a 2021 fishing license can once again support their favorite PFBC programs through the purchase of voluntary permits for Bass, Musky, Wild Trout/Enhanced Waters, and Habitat/Waterways Conservation.  These permits are not required for fishing and carry no additional privileges, but all funds generated through them are reinvested into their respective program.  Thanks to the generosity of anglers, the PFBC has invested more than $125,000 into special projects funded by the sale of voluntary permits since 2019.

While youth anglers under age 16 do not require a fishing license, they must have either a Voluntary Youth Fishing License ($2.90) or a free Mentored Youth Fishing Permit to participate in various youth opportunities throughout the 2021 season.  This includes the Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Days, which occur on the Saturdays before the openings of the regional and statewide seasons.  Voluntary Youth Fishing Licenses purchased in advance of the 2020 Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Days that were canceled due to COVID-19 will be honored in 2021.

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The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is a user-funded agency that operates primarily on funds generated through the sale of fishing licenses, boating registrations, and associated fees.  The PFBC receives no Pennsylvania General Fund tax revenue to support its programs.

The PFBC reminds anglers and boaters to protect themselves by always wearing a life jacket during the fall and winter months.  From November 1 through April 30, all boaters aboard boats less than 16 feet, including all kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards, are required to wear a life jacket.  Anglers should also wear a life jacket while ice fishing.  Life jackets prevent drowning by keeping your head above water and insulate against the effects of cold-water shock and hypothermia.  For more information, visit the Water and Ice Safety page on the PFBC website.

Important Upcoming 2021 Fishing Dates*:

  • December 1 (2020) – 2021 Fishing Licenses on Sale
  • March 27 – 2021 Regional Mentored Youth Trout Day (18 southeastern counties)
  • April 3 – 2021 Regional Opening Day of Trout Season
  • April 10 – 2021 Statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day
  • April 17 – 2021 Statewide Opening Day of Trout Season
  • November 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021 – Mandatory Life Jacket Requirement in Effect

Download the 2021 Pennsylvania Fishing Summary here

*All seasons and dates are subject to change.

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