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PA Summary Book text graphic
Regulations by Location
COMMONWEALTH INLAND WATERS
Includes the Youghiogheny River Lake and does not include special regulation areas or endangered and threatened species not shown on this chart.
Species Seasons Minimum Size Daily Limit
All Species of Trout and Salmon

Additional regulations map apply–see Trout Regulations

Regional Opening Day of Trout Season*
March 29 at 8 a.m. through Sept. 2 (only 18 southeastern PA counties)
7 inches 5-streams, lakes and ponds (combined species)
Regular Season
April 12 at 8 a.m. through Sept. 1
7 inches 5-streams, lakes and ponds (combined species)
Extended Season (approved trout waters and all waters downstream of approved trout waters)
Jan. 1 through Feb. 28 and Sept. 2 through Dec. 31
7 inches 3 (combined species)
Bass-Lakes
Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted

Additional regulations may apply–see Big Bass and Catch and Release Bass regulations

Jan. 1 through April 11 and Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 15 inches 4 (combined species)
April 12 through June 13 NO HARVEST - catch and immediate release only (no tournaments permitted)
June 14 through Oct. 31 12 inches 6 (combined species)
Bass-Rivers and Streams
Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted

Additional regulations may apply–see Big Bass and Catch and Release Bass regulations

Jan. 1 through April 11 and Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 15 inches 4 (combined species)
April 12 through June 13 NO HARVEST - catch and immediate release only (no tournaments permitted)
June 14 through Sept. 30 12 inches 6 (combined species)
Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge** Open year-round 40 inches 1 (combined species)
Pickerel** 18 inches 4
Northern Pike** 24 inches 2 (combined species)
Walleye and Saugeye (hybrids) Jan. 1 through March 14 and May 3 through Dec. 31 15 inches 6
Sauger 12 inches 6
American Shad*** Open year-round No minimum 3
American Shad
Lehigh River, Schuylkill River**** and tributaries
Open year-round NO HARVEST - catch and immediate release onlyNew
American Shad, River Herring
Susquehanna River and tributaries
CLOSED YEAR-ROUND
Hickory Shad*** CLOSED YEAR-ROUND
Herring, Gizzard Shad*** Open year-round No minimum 50 (combined species)
American Eel Open year-round 9 inchesNew 25New
Striped Bass and Striped Bass / White Bass Hybrids Open year-round 20 inches 2 (combined species)
Sunfish, Yellow Perch, White Perch, Crappies, Catfish, Rock Bass, Suckers, Carp, White Bass and other gamefish not otherwise listed

Additional regulations may apply–see Panfish Enhancement Special Regulations

Open year-round No minimum 50 (combined species)
Baitfish / Fishbait***** (except Mudbugs) Open year-round No minimum 50 (combined species)
American Eel (as Baitfish) Open year-round 6 to 8 inches 50
Mudbugs (Dragonfly Nymphs) Open year-round No minimum Unlimited if taken from lakes, ponds, swamps and adjacent areas. 50 per day if taken from moving waters (rivers and streams).
Mussels / Clams CLOSED YEAR-ROUND
Paddlefish CLOSED YEAR-ROUND
Spotted Gar CLOSED YEAR-ROUND
Seasons, sizes and creel limits – Except for trout season, which begins at 8 a.m., all regulatory periods in the fishing regulations are based on the calendar day, one of which ends at midnight and the next of which begins immediately thereafter.

* Includes only those waters in 18 southeastern PA counties and two waters crossing from those counties listed in the Regional Opening Day of Trout Season Program.

** Except those species in waters listed in the Brood Stock Lakes Program. Tiger muskellunge is a muskellunge hybrid.

*** Unlawful to take, catch or kill American shad, hickory shad (endangered species), river herring (alewife and blueback herring) in the Susquehanna River and all its tributaries. River herring also has a closed year-round season with zero daily limit applied to Lehigh River and tributaries, Schuylkill River and tributaries, West Branch Delaware River, Delaware River, Delaware estuary, Delaware River tributaries upstream to the limit of the tidal influence, and Conowingo Reservoir.

**** Lehigh River upstream of the first dam in Easton, Pennsylvania and its tributaries and the Schuylkill River upstream of the I-95 Bridge and its tributaries..

***** BAITFISH includes all forms of minnows; suckers, chubs, fallfish, lampreys; gizzard shad 8 inches or less; and all forms of darters, killifishes and stonecats (except those listed as threatened or endangered species). Legally taken gamefish may be used as bait. It is unlawful to use or possess goldfish, comets, koi and common carp as baitfish while fishing. FISHBAIT includes crayfish, crabs, and the nymphs, larvae and pupae of all insects spending any part of their life cycle in the water.

NOTE: It is not a violation of the bass regulations if a bass is immediately returned unharmed to the waters from which it was taken. It is unlawful for an angler to cast repeatedly into a clearly visible bass spawning nest or redd in an effort to catch or take bass.

NOTE: For bass regulations, power dam pools and recreational dam pools on the Susquehanna River and navigational dam pools on the Ohio River drainage are "rivers." It is unlawful to conduct a fishing tournament on the North Branch, West Branch or main stem of the Susquehanna River that allows tournament anglers to harvest bass.

NOTE: Approved trout waters are closed to fishing from March 1 to the opening day of the regular trout season in April, unless included in the Regional Opening Day of Trout Season Program or Approved Trout Waters Open to Year-Round Fishing Program.

NOTE: Landlocked alewife less than 8 inches in length taken from inland ponds, lakes or reservoirs that are collected by legal means may be harvested for use as baitfish.

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