HARRISBURG, PA — During the upcoming Memorial Day weekend when many families and friends will already be gathered, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) states it is offering the first of two Fish-for-Free Days in 2021.
On Sunday, May 30, the PFBC will waive its license requirement, allowing anglers to fish within public waterways across the Commonwealth without possessing a fishing license. The second Fish-for-Free Day will happen on Independence Day – Sunday, July 4.
From 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on both days, no fishing license is required to fish. However, all other fishing regulations, including seasons and creel limits, apply. Complete fishing regulations can be viewed using the FishBoatPA mobile app or the PFBC website, www.fishandboat.com.
“Fish-for-Free Days are the perfect opportunity to try fishing for the first time, reconnect with the water, or share your passion for fishing with someone new,” said Amber Nabors, Director of the PFBC Bureau of Outreach, Education, and Marketing. “Many people will be enjoying the holiday weekend together for picnics at state parks, campgrounds, and other places near the water. Now you can spend some time fishing at no cost, other than the bait you choose.”
With the Memorial Day weekend immediately following National Safe Boating Week, the PFBC reminds anglers who will be fishing from boats this summer to follow a basic safety checklist before and during each boating adventure. Boaters should always wear a life jacket, never boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs (BUI), take a basic boating safety course, have a float plan to let others know when and where they’ll be boating, and have proper boat registrations or launch permits.
Waterways Conservation Officers will be on patrol throughout the holiday weekend to conduct safety inspections and look for impaired boaters. In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to operate any watercraft, powered or unpowered, while impaired. The blood alcohol limit for boat operators is .08% and WCOs are trained to recognize signs of impairment and conduct sobriety tests on the water. Penalties for BUI include fines, loss of boating privileges and imprisonment.
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