|HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is reminding saltwater anglers that they can register with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for free beginning Jan. 1 through the PFBC’s website.
NOAA requires annual registration from both Pennsylvania residents and non-residents – 16 years of age or older – who target or catch shad, striped bass and river herring from the Delaware River below Trenton Falls or in the Delaware River Estuary.
Beginning Jan. 1, anglers who fish in Pennsylvania and its boundary waters have the option to register through the free PA Saltwater Angler Registry Program (PA-SARP), or to register for a fee through the federal online registry or by calling toll-free 1-888-674-7411. A web button in the left column of the PFBC website called “PA-SARP” directs anglers to the free registration page.
“As a registered saltwater angler, you may be asked by NOAA to participate in surveys about your fishing activity,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “Information obtained from these surveys is used to determine the health and sustainability of marine fisheries and to make informed decisions about how many fish can be caught the following year.”
Anglers must have a valid Pennsylvania fishing license prior to registering with PA-SARP.
Anglers do not need to register if they meet one of the following exceptions:
- Are under the age of 16.
- Hold a Highly Migratory Species Angling Permit.
- Fish commercially under a valid license.
- Possess a valid registration with the National Saltwater Angler Registry administered by NOAA or from another exempted state.
Please note that River herring (also known as alewife and blueback herring) and hickory shad (endangered species) are regulated with a closed fishing season, year-round. These species are not to be targeted. If caught, they are to be immediately released.
“Saltwater anglers should carry their Pennsylvania Saltwater Angler Registration Card with them while fishing as proof of compliance with this registration program,” Arway added. “And anglers should contact the applicable state agency when fishing the tidal waters outside of Pennsylvania to be sure they are in compliance with the states saltwater angler registration requirements.”
The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities. For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at fishandboat.com.