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Guidelines for Contributors

Published bi-monthly, Pennsylvania Angler & Boater (PAA&B), is the official fishing and boating magazine of Pennsylvania. As the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission’s state agency publication, it is the voice of the Commonwealth concerning matters related to fishing and boating, and to protecting, conserving and enhancing the state's aquatic resources. PAA&B is a 64-page full-color periodical with no paid advertising. Approximately, 63 percent of the magazine’s content is supported through contributions.


The best way to determine editorial and visual needs is to review past issues. If you send us a 9” x 12” envelope affixed with first-class postage for 9 ounces, we'll send you a sample copy of the magazine. You'll also find an online archive of past issues on the Commission's website at

PAA&B's mainstays are where-to and how-to fishing and boating articles, and features, which encompass all aspects of the Commission and its functions. The Commission's mission is to protect, conserve and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities. The magazine's goal is to profile the entire Commission with its content. For this reason, we are constantly looking for fresh ideas on topics we haven't covered and new perspectives on topics we have previously covered.

Here is a partial list of our needs:

  • How-to articles on fishing and boating in Pennsylvania.
  • Where-to articles that include details on how to fish in specific Pennsylvania waterways (or several waterways) and technically accurate how-to information. These kinds of articles should include hand-drawn maps or marked maps from published sources showing accesses, main roads, landmarks, parking and hotspots.
  • Boating articles. How-to, where-to, fishing from a boat, recreational powerboating, paddling, water trails, repair, maintenance, trailering and technical.
  • Topics. We like to publish articles that inform readers of the latest fishing and boating methods and trends. We consider only information that applies specifically to Pennsylvania.
  • Articles that show the benefits of fisheries management applications, research results and studies.
  • The benefits for anglers and boaters of cooperative efforts among the Commission and other government and private groups.
  • Short Articles. We use articles of approximately 600 words with two or three photos for published one-pagers. Subjects include fresh, sharply focused ideas on all aspects of the Commission and its mission, and angling and boating topics.
  • Fish & Boat Commission activities across the state and how anglers, boaters and the environment benefit from the activities.
  • Nostalgia, humor and "think" pieces. These articles must be about Pennsylvania fishing and boating. We also publish Pennsylvania-based historical articles, Pennsylvania-based fiction ("me and Joe" articles) and first-person accounts taking place in Pennsylvania. These articles must be rooted in the state's angling, boating or aquatic resources.
  • We do not solicit product reviews or roundups, cartoons, poetry, games, puzzles or tournament coverage.
  • We rarely publish articles that have appeared in other online or print publications.

Writing style, submitting

We use The Associated Press Stylebook and the Outdoor Writers Association of America Outdoor Style Manual. Pennsylvania Angler & Boater adheres to the American Fisheries Society’s style guide and the seventh edition of Common and Scientific Names of Fishes from the United States, Canada and Mexico in keeping with the capitalization of the English common names of fishes as well as singular and plural fish name usage. In addition, Pennsylvania Angler & Boater recognizes the standards established by the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

We do not publish pieces about using specific products, brands or services. To avoid product representation or inference of endorsement, use generic products. If brand names are shown, avoid showcasing or concentrating on labels. The mention of lures, tackle and other products should include generic references. However, if an article includes the name of a specific product, we require that at least two more such products also be included.

Articles should be aimed at anglers and boaters with intermediate-level to advanced-level skills. The articles we publish are between 600 to 2,500 words.

Digital submission of text (Microsoft Word) and/or images (high resolution TIFFs or JPEGs) should be sent on CD to:

Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission
Media Productions Section
P.O. Box 67000
Harrisburg, PA  17106-7000

or by e-mail to

Submitting photographs

We require TIFFs or JPEGs that are 300 dpi in resolution, with minimal file compression and at a minimum size of 8” x 12”.

We must be informed if a submitted digital image was altered.

We also accept glossy color prints no larger than 8” x10”. We require all photo submissions to be original.

Complete captions and model releases (kept on file by the author) are required (including model releases for those 18-years old and younger with parental permission).

Anglers in photographs should display a Pennsylvania fishing license.

Boating photograph requirements

These requirements concern photographs in articles that illustrate points about boats and boating and fishing from a boat. Everyone aboard boats must be wearing U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets. Life jackets should fit properly and must be zipped and buckled. Life jackets must be in good, servicable condition and should suit the activity depicted and be compliant with regulations where inflatable life jackets are not permitted. Persons on docks and those boarding and leaving boats should also be wearing life jackets.

Boats and equipment should be in optimal condition, including valid numbering and documentation. Boats should be equipped so that they meet all federal and Pennsylvania legal requirements. Safety equipment should be visible and accessible.

Boats should be shown under safe operation and in compliance with all Pennsylvania boating regulations. Persons should sit in seats properly. People should not be shown sitting on seat backs or on the gunwale. If a boat is to be operated at high speed (above 45 mph), appropriate safety equipment should be worn. Boats should be shown accelerating at a safe speed so that they don't create a dangerous wake or throw riders around the boat.

We prefer that boats show the current Pennsylvania registration.

Scenic shots must be taken in Pennsylvania.

Fish handling photograph requirements

These requirements concern photographs in articles that illustrate proper fish handling practices. Photographs should not show fish being held by the gill plates, eyes, in a horizontal position or at a 45-degree angle by the jaw alone or the tail region alone. Larger bodied fishes, such as Muskellunge, Striped Bass, pike, pickerel, bass, catfish and Walleye, should be supported by the head and mid-section and should not be held vertically by hand or using a mechanical lip-gripping device. If the fish is being released, preferably show it near or in the water. These photograph requirements are only applicable for catch and release fishing photos and are not required for fish that have been harvested. Photographs demonstrating proper fish handling techniques will be given first consideration for selection. Submissions not adhering to these requirements may be subject to rejection.


Submit seasonal material six months in advance. For instance, an article on ice fishing for a January/February issue must be submitted in July of the prior year.

We prefer to receive written or e-mailed proposals before receiving completed manuscripts. However, we review all submitted material including unsolicited, completed manuscripts.

Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope with correspondence and unsolicited material.

All materials—queries, manuscripts, photos and artwork—are reviewed on speculation. We report on queries usually within four weeks and on manuscripts usually within four to eight weeks.

We are not responsible for maintaining, tracking or returning unsolicited materials.

Publishing Rights/Payment

We buy first rights or one-time rights for most material. This includes digital rights for inclusion on the Commission's website and e-zine. If the material you're submitting, or similar material, has appeared elsewhere, please inform us when you provide your submission. Payment rates for articles submitted without usable photographs are less than payment rates for articles submitted with usable photographs.

When photographs are submitted with an article, the payment rate for the article includes payment for use of all the photos with the article. If we use a photograph submitted with an article elsewhere, we pay for that use separately from the article/photo package payment. Rights purchased for covers include the right to publish the material as it's depicted on the magazine cover on the Commission's website and promotional advertisements in print and online.

Contributors must have a Commonwealth SAP vendor number. We will provide information to contributors on how to obtain this number; there is no cost to obtaining this number. The number is required for us to process payment. We do not accept simultaneous submissions or similar material submitted elsewhere.

Contact information

Editor, Pennsylvania Angler & Boater
Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission
P.O. Box 67000
Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000
(717) 705-7835 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
(717) 705-7831 (fax)

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