Fishing & boating montage
County Guide - click for index
Regional Reports - click for index
Biologist Reports/Fisheries Management - click for index
PA Summary Book text graphic
Regulations by Species
REPTILES & AMPHIBIANS - Seasons & Limits
Species Season Daily Limit Possession Limit
Bullfrog July 1 through October 31 10 (combined species) 20 (combined species)
Northern Green Frog July 1 through October 31 10 (combined species) 20 (combined species)
Snapping Turtle July 1 through October 31 15 30
Amphibian Eggs and Tadpoles No closed season 15 (combined species) 15 (combined species)
Timber Rattlesnake* June 13 through July 31 1 annual limit** (must be at least 42 inches in length, measured lengthwise along the dorsal surface from the snout to the tail, excluding the rattle, and must possess 21 or more subcaudal scales.***)
Northern Copperhead June 13 through July 31 1 annual limit**
* It is unlawful to hunt, take, catch, or kill timber rattlesnakes west of Route 15 and south of Interstate 81 to the Maryland line where there is no open season.
** It is unlawful to possess, take, catch, or kill more than one timber rattlesnake or northern copperhead per calendar year except as provided in Chapter 79.7(f) (Fish & Boat Code) relating to organized reptile and amphibian hunt permits. It is unlawful to possess more than one timber rattlesnake or northern copperhead at any time except as provided in Chapter 79.7(f) (Fish & Boat Code).
*** Subcaudal scales are large flat scales located on the underside of a timber rattlesnake between the vent (anal scale) and the base of the tail rattle.
See our Fish Consumption Advisory for snapping turtle consumption advice.
The following ENDANGERED and THREATENED native species have NO OPEN SEASON.
The DAILY LIMIT is 0 (zero) and POSSESSION LIMIT is 0 (zero).
The Commission has identified some species of reptiles, amphibians, fish and aquatic organisms as endangered, threatened or candidate species. Endangered and threatened species face extirpation and have NO OPEN SEASON.
Eastern Mud Salamander (Endangered)
Green Salamander (Threatened)
Blue-spotted Salamader (Endangered)
Eastern Spadefoot (Threatened)
New Jersey Chorus Frog (Endangered)
Northern Cricket Frog (Endangered)
Southern Leopard Frog (Endangered)
Eastern Massasauga (Endangered)
Kirtland's Snake (Endangered)
Rough Green Snake (Endangered)
Bog Turtle (Endangered)
Eastern Mud Turtle (Endangered)
Redbelly Turtle (Threatened)
The following native reptile and amphibian species have NO OPEN SEASON.
The DAILY LIMIT is 0 (zero) and POSSESSION LIMIT is 0 (zero).
Eastern Hellbender
Four-toed Salamander
Jefferson Salamander
Marbled Salamander
Northern Ravine Salamander
Mountain Chorus Frog
Upland Chorus Frog
Western Chorus Frog
Eastern Hognose Snake
Eastern Ribbon Snake
Eastern Smooth Earth Snake
Eastern Smooth Green Snake
Eastern Worm Snake
Mountain Earth Snake
Queen Snake
Shorthead Garter Snake
Blanding's Turtle
Eastern Box Turtle
Spotted Turtle
Wood Turtle
Broadhead Skink
Eastern Fence Lizard
Northern Coal Skink
The following native reptile and amphibian species have NO CLOSED SEASON.
The DAILY LIMIT is 1 (one) and POSSESSION LIMIT is 1 (one).
Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander
Eastern Redback Salamander
Eastern Red-Spotted Newt
Longtail Salamander
Northern Dusky Salamander
Northern Red Salamander
Northern Slimy Salamander
Northern Spring Salamander
Northern Two-lined Salamander
Seal Salamander
Spotted Salamander
Wehrle's Salamander
Valley and Ridge Salamander
Eastern American Toad
Eastern Gray Treefrog
Fowler's Toad
Northern Leopard Frog
Pickerel Frog
Spring Peeper
Wood Frog
Eastern Garter Snake
Eastern Milksnake
Eastern Ratsnake
Northern Black Racer
Northern Brown Snake
Northern Redbelly Snake
Northern Ringneck Snake
Northern Water Snake
Eastern Musk Turtle
Eastern Painted Turtle
Eastern Spiny Softshell
Map Turtle
Midland Painted Turtles
Five-lined Skink
The practice of catch and release of amphibians and reptiles is encouraged.
Additional Restrictions for ALL Reptiles & Amphibians
  • A fishing license is required to catch or take reptiles and amphibians from the lands and waters of the Commonwealth.
  • Unless otherwise indicated, reptiles and amphibians may only be taken by hand, hook, snake tongs, turtle hooks, traps and nets less than four feet square or four feet in diameter.
  • It is unlawful to take, catch or kill a reptile or amphibian through the use of firearms, chemicals, explosives, winches, jacks or other devices.
  • It is unlawful to damage or disrupt the nest or eggs of a reptile or to gather, take or possess the eggs of any reptile in the natural environment of this Commonwealth.
  • It is unlawful to take, catch, kill or possess for the purposes of selling or offering for sale, importing or exporting for consideration, trading or bartering or purchasing an amphibian or reptile whether dead or alive, in whole or in parts, including the eggs or any life stage that was taken from lands or waters within this Commonwealth.
  • It is unlawful to transport or import into or within this Commonwealth a native species from another jurisdiction. It is also unlawful to receive a native species that was transported or imported into or within this Commonwealth from another jurisdiction.
  • Taking, catching and possessing amphibians and reptiles in Department of Conservation and Natural Resources natural areas designated by posters is prohibited.


  • The use of artificial light to take frogs at night is illegal.
  • Frogs may be taken with long bow and arrow, including compound bows, crossbows, spears or gigs. Spears or gigs may not have more than five barbs and cannot be used in approved trout waters.


  • Set-lines, turtle traps, or other devices for catching turtles must include a tag indicating the name, address and phone number of the owner or user. Traps, nets or other devices must be of a floating or partially submerged design so as to allow for the release of untargeted turtles. Hooks must be at least 3.5 inches long with not less than one inch space between the point and shank of the hook. The number of lines or hooks per line is unlimited.
Snake keystone logoA permit is required to hunt, take, catch, kill or possess timber rattlesnakes and northern copperhead snakes.

A permit is required to hunt, take, catch or kill common snapping turtles for the purpose of sale, barter or trade.

Summary Book Index
Bottom navigation bar
Copyright Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
click for Commonwealth of PA website click for list of PA state agencies click for PA online services Get your fishing license Register/title a boat Web Policies Site Map Contact Us PFBC Home Page