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FISHING TOURNAMENTS & FISHING DERBIES

SUMMARY OF RULES & REGULATIONS

Special Activity Permit Application, PFBC-500 -- Fishing Event Report, PFBC-FER3
[forms are in PDF format]


DEFINITIONS: The following definitions will be used to determine whether an event is a fishing tournament or a fishing derby. These definitions apply regardless of the name the sponsor gives to the event. Many events that are called "derbies" by their sponsors would be considered tournaments under fishing regulations. The classification depends on the nature of the event.
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spacer Fishing Tournament - an organized competitive fishing event, other than a fishing derby, where 10 or more individuals fish during a specified time period. An activity that involves one or more of the following is considered a fishing tournament.
  1. The event is sponsored or promoted by an individual or organization.
  2. The event involves the award of trophies, prizes or other recognition for participation in the tournament.
  3. The event is conducted during a distinct time period (usually 72 hours or less) on a particular body of water.
spacer Fishing Derby - an organized event involving 10 or more participants conducted for children under the age of 16, senior citizens, (as defined in 30 Pa. C.S. 2701), Anglers with Disabilities, Special Populations or other group where the principal purpose is education or entertainment, rather than competition among anglers."  spacer
FISHING TOURNAMENTS

1. A permit is required (use form PFBC-500, Special Activity Permit Application). If tournament involves 50 or more boats, submit Oct. 1 - Dec. 1 of the year prior to the year of the proposed tournaments. If 49 or less boats, submit at least 60 days prior to the date of the tournament.

2. In case of competing applications, a tournament where fish are intended to be released alive shall be given preference over a tournament where fish are intended to be killed or taken.

3. Tournament sponsors engaged in returning live fish to the waters of the Commonwealth after completion of a tournament may possess fish in excess of the daily possession limit provided they carry the tournament permit and can document the catch of individual participants.

4. If it is a condition of the permit, a Fishing Event Report (use form PFBC-FER3, Fishing Event Report) must be filed within 30 days after completion of the tournament.

To be properly credited for any fishing event report submission the correct Permit Number must be listed in the box in the upper left corner of the form prior to mailing or fax transmittal. Failure to record the correct permit number will lead to your organization not being properly credited with the submission.

5. Upon request of an applicant for a tournament permit, the Commission may include a condition providing that one or more uninjured largemouth bass or smallmouth bass or spotted bass that an angler is landing, measuring or in the process of releasing from a recirculating or aerated live well will not be considered as part of the daily creel limit as long as the tournament rules include the following:

  • a penalty for the return of any dead or distressed bass to the water 
  • a requirement for the use of recirculating or aerated temperature controlled live wells
  • the distribution of instructions on the proper maintenance and use of live wells to all contestants, and
  • a limit on fishing hours to no more than nine (9) hours per day. 

This permit condition will be included only in circumstances where the Commission finds that permitting culling will have no substantial adverse impacts on the protection and management of fish

6. Unless a special exception is granted, fishing tournaments may not be conducted on the Opening Day for any species of game fish.

7. It is unlawful to conduct or participate in a fishing tournament involving the catch or attempted catch of a particular species of fish during the closed season for that species.

8. On Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission property, weigh-in stations and prize awarding events must be at locations that will not interfere with other use of Commission property.

9. If the application is denied, the applicant may, within 10 days of notification, request the Executive Director to reconsider denial of the permit.

FISHING DERBIES

1. A permit is required for derbies involving 10 or more participants on all Pennsylvania waters except private ponds closed to the public (use form PFBC-500, Special Activity Permit Application). Submit at least 60 days prior to the date of the derby.

2. Derby sponsors engaged in returning live fish to the waters of the Commonwealth after completion of a derby may possess fish in excess of the daily possession limit provided they carry the derby permit and can document the catch of the individual derby participants.

3. Unless a special exception is granted, fishing derbies may not be conducted on the opening day for any species of game fish.

4. It is unlawful to conduct or participate in a fishing derby involving the catch or attempted catch of a particular species of fish during the closed season for that species.

5. On Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission property, weigh-in stations and prize awarding events must be at locations that will not interfere with other public use of Commission property.

6. If the application is denied, the applicant may, within 10 days of notification, request the Executive Director to reconsider denial of the permit.

7. Sponsors of fishing derbies on approved trout waters must notify the Commission of the date, time and place of the derby and whether it involves stocking any fish in the approved trout waters.

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Special Activity Permit Application, PFBC-500 -- Fishing Event Report, PFBC-FER3

Enforcement -- Fishing Forms -- PFBC Home


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