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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: March 27, 2014 10:22 AM
From: Representative Dan Moul
To: All House members
Subject: Proposed Legislation
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation amending the Fish & Boat Code to provide that any waters in which fish stocked by the PA Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) may migrate to or be present in be open to public fishing. Currently, this requirement only pertains to waters directly stocked by the PFBC.

Under current law, waters considered as navigable must be also open to public fishing up to the high water mark. However, waters that are considered non-navigable or that have never been deemed navigable may be closed to public fishing by the posting of private land on both sides of the water even though they are still considered Commonwealth waters. There is great concern about the reduction in public fishing access opportunities due to the increased posting of property bordering waters such as these.

Groups and individuals have been taking advantage of this loophole in the law and posting lands along non-navigable waters as no public fishing, and charging selected anglers to fish there via club dues or use fees to gain exclusive access to the fishing area. This not only blocks public access by licensed anglers, but fish stocked by the PFBC, and therefore paid for by all Commonwealth sportsmen who purchase fishing licenses or pay taxes on the purchase of fishing equipment, can easily migrate to or settle into these areas. I believe that any waters considered Commonwealth water that either may contain or do contain fish paid for by our sportsmen and stocked by our state agency should be open to public fishing by licensed anglers.

Thank you for your consideration of this proposal.

Introduced as HB2357