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Charter Boat Operators and Fishing Guides
INFORMATION SHEET

Charter Boat/Fishing Guide logoApplication and Applicant -- A person desiring to be a charter boat operator or a fishing guide on the waters of this Commonwealth must first apply for a permit on the form provided by the Commission and submit the appropriate fee ($100 for residents; $400 for non-residents). Applicants must be 16 years of age or older.

Permit Duration -- Charter boat/fishing guide permits are valid for a calendar year and expire on December 31 of the year for which they were issued.

Permit Renewals -- A holder of a charter boat/fishing guide permit must apply to the Commission for renewal of the permit by completing the renewal application form provided by the Commission and by submitting it along with the appropriate fee to the Commission. Renewal notices will be mailed to current permit holders during the month of October or November of the preceding year.

Suspensions -- The Commission may suspend or revoke a charter boat/fishing guide permit for noncompliance with the terms and conditions of the applicable regulations or when the charter boat operator or fishing guide is convicted or acknowledges guilt of a violation of the laws or regulations.

Compliance with Laws -- Charter boat operators and fishing guides must comply with all federal, state and local laws and regulations. Charter boat operators and fishing guides are responsible for ensuring that their employees, passengers and customers comply with all fishing and boating laws and regulations.

Display of Permits & Decals

Permits -- While operating a charter boat or fishing guide operation, charter boat operators and fishing guides must display their permits on a hat or an outer garment in plain view. The charter boat operator and fishing guide may carry and display the permit in the same holder containing a fishing license. Charter boat operators and fishing guides must present their charter boat/fishing guide permits upon the request of an officer authorized to enforce the code. While onboard a boat displaying a decal, the charter boat operator is exempt from the permit display requirements of this section provided the permit is onboard the boat.

Decals -- When a boat is used in the charter boat/fishing guide operation, the charter boat operator must display a decal supplied by the Commission on both sides of the boat hull above the waterline and below the gunwale near the stern of the boat or on each side window of the cockpit of the boat. When, due to exigent circumstances, a charter boat operator must use a boat that does not display a charter boat/fishing guide decal, the charter boat operator must display the permit on a hat or outer garment as required by this section.

Boating Safety Education Certificate & USCG License

When a boat is used in the charter boat/fishing guide operation, the charter boat operator must possess a boating safety education certificate issued by the Commission or by another state in accordance with criteria of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators or a boat operator’s license issued by the U.S. Coast Guard. Applicants and holders of charter boat/fishing guide permits must provide proof of certification of boating safety education upon the request of the Commission.

Insurance

Charter boat operators and fishing guides must possess and maintain in full force and effect general liability insurance for all periods during which they are operating a charter boat/fishing guide operation on the waters of the Commonwealth. The minimum amount of coverage is $250,000 for each occurrence and $500,000 in the aggregate. Applicants and holders of charter boat/fishing guide permits must provide proof of insurance upon the request of the Commission.

CPR and First Aid

Charter boat operators and fishing guides must possess and maintain current certification in basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and basic first aid skills. Applicants and holders of charter boat/fishing guide permits must provide proof of CPR or basic first aid certification upon the request of the Commission.

Fishing License and Permits

Charter boat operators and their crewmembers and fishing guides must possess valid fishing licenses and the stamps and permits required for the waters in which they fish. Charter boat operators and fishing guides are responsible for ensuring that their employees, passengers and customers possess a valid fishing license and the appropriate stamps and permits.

Fishing Privileges in Boundary Waters*

The following fishing license agreements apply to boundary waters. You must abide by all other rules and regulations of the state in which fishing and where you launch or retrieve your boat.

A Pennsylvania or Maryland license is valid on the Conowingo Reservoir or Youghiogheny Reservoir when fishing from a boat (excluding coves and tributaries). Dos not include shore fishing.

A Pennsylvania or New York license is valid on the Delaware River (including West Branch) between New York and Pennsylvania when fishing from a boat or either shore.

A Pennsylvania or New Jersey license is valid on the Delaware River between New Jersey and Pennsylvania when fishing from a boat or either shore.

A Pennsylvania or Ohio license is valid on the Pymatuning Reservoir when fishing from a boat. Does not include shore fishing.

A Pennsylvania license is required to fish Kinzua Reservoir in McKean and Warren counties. NO agreement has been established with New York.

NO FISHING AGREEMENTS have been made on any other boundary waters.

* Current at the time of posting (2006). Check the applicable section of the PA Summary Book for current regulations.

Guide Operations on Boundary Waters

Residents of the Pennsylvania who operate charter boats or fishing guide operations on boundary waters under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth must possess a resident charter boat/fishing guide permit; non-residents must possess a non-resident charter boat/fishing guide permit. If a person uses a boat launch in the Commonwealth, then it is presumed that the person is operating a charter boat or fishing guide operation on the waters of this Commonwealth.

Special Issuing Agents for Fishing Licenses

Holders of charter boat/fishing guide permits may apply to be a special issuing agent for the purpose of selling to their customers One-Day Fishing Licenses, Three-Day Tourist Fishing Licenses, Seven-Day Tourist Fishing Licenses and trout/salmon permits and special permits for fishing Lake Erie and tributaries. A holder of a charter boat/fishing guide permit may seek to become a special issuing agent by completing and submitting to the Commission an application on the form prescribed by the Commission. Applications to become a special issuing agent can be obtained by calling the Commission at 717-705-7851.


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