Application 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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.