(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — A plan to raise fishing permit fees in Pennsylvania will be brought before the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) during a special board meeting on March 1.

The meeting begins at 10 a.m. and will be held at the PFBC headquarters in Harrisburg, 1601 Elmerton Ave. The meeting will be held in-person and is open to the public.

The meeting also can be viewed remotely online. The webinar access code is 2632 896 4348.

Each fishing permit fee category is proposed to see an increase. A resident annual fishing license could increase $2.50, from $23.50 to $26. A non-resident annual license could see a steeper increase of $4, from $55 to $59. The full list of proposed fee changes are:

License CategoryCurrentChangeProposed
Resident Annual$23.50$2.50$26
Non-resident Annual$55$4$59
Senior Resident Annual$11.25$1.25$12.50
Senior Resident Lifetime$75$10$85
3-Day Tourist$27.50$2.50$30
7-Day Tourist$35$2.50$37.50
1-Day Resident$11.25$1.25$12.50
1-Day Tourist$27.50$2.50$30
Trout Permit$10.50$2.50$13
Trout/Lake Erie Permit$16.50$2.50$19

“By far, the largest source of revenue for the Fish Fund is from fishing license and permit fees, and these fees account for more than 67% of Fish Fund revenues,” the commission’s agenda said. “If new revenues are not in place for the 2024 license year, the Commission will not be able to maintain adequate levels of services to Pennsylvania’s anglers, let alone respond to angler desires for expanded efforts in many programs areas.”

If approved, the increases will add about $2.9 million annually to the Fish Fund. The new fees would go into effect on Dec. 1.

The commission agenda notes that the increased fees are “needed to cope with inflationary pressures, maintain and improve existing programs, and to address and meet anglers and boaters’ desires…”

The funding will be used to support: Fisheries management; infrastructure improvements and maintenance of fish hatcheries, dams, boat launches and ramps, and other Commission-owned facilities; upgrades and replacement of equipment, vehicles and watercraft; aquatic resource field and classroom education and angler information programs; conservation law enforcement; and to maintain operations and offset inflationary and supply chain constraint costs.