PFBC Lowers License Fees
Inside the Outdoors, October 17
, 2014

Even though we are in the midst of archery season, a news bulletin hit my desk recently that drew my attention. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will be reducing fishing license fees for 2015. As a senior license holder, that doesn’t affect yours truly, but to the younger angler, it may raise some eyebrows.

Several years ago, a gent from Indiana County approached me to state that he thought the interest was waning a bit pertaining to the sport. I disagreed. As a roaming outdoor sports writer, I talked to many people about their insights concerning angling, I did what I loved to do second, interrogate others as to the facts (and nothing but the facts, of course), and then collaborate my findings and write some kind of story, my first love that is.

That brings me to the subject at hand – the news release of which I spoke about earlier.

The PFBC announced that in the upcoming year, there will be a dollar discount for resident and non-resident annual licenses which the Commission approximated to be five-percent off the going price of 2014. In addition, anglers who buy three-year and five-year licenses will see a reduction of three and five dollars, accordingly.

That means resident licenses will be $21.70, the non-residents ones $51.70, three-year non-resident, $151.70, five-year resident $101.70, and five-year non-resident $251.70.

According to Executive Director John Arway, “We believe this price cut will catch the attention of many people who haven’t fished in a few years, or who have wanted to try fishing, but mistakenly have thought that prices have increased like they have for other products and activities.”

Continuing, he stated, “The fact is, the price of a fishing license hasn’t increased in nearly a decade, since 2005. Fishing has always been an affordable and fun, family activity that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. If we can capture the attention of potential new and returning anglers, we’ll know they will be surprised at how inexpensive it is to fish and how easy it is to enjoy the sport,” he said.

In talking to a number of area residents about the reduction of costs of fishing licenses, it was interesting as to the number of variants that were received concerning the issue at hand.

I was told of several residents who felt that they thought it was their right to not pay anything to fish while others stated they’d take the chance and pay the fine if they were caught.

One area motorist momentarily stopping during school dismissal stated “I would buy a license if the price was reduced. Others concurred.

“Lowering the licenses to that amount is a slap in the face,” a passerby said.
A fellow I spoke to at the local grocery outlet told me, “I don’t have time for fishing. I just have too much to do. I haven’t bought a license for years.”

A cab driver told me, “I plan to take my son next year. I’d gladly get a license if the cost was lower.

Latrobe resident Deven Libengood stated, “I will always buy a license anytime as price doesn’t matter.”

On the other hand, area resident Terry Heasley wasn’t happy with the reduction possibilities. He said, “Maybe if the people lowered the prices more, I would get one.”

So it can be seen, there are pros and cons on this issue. What the future holds will be in the minds of the beholder. It just may be that price really doesn’t matter when one considers all one gets for the nominal price of the permit. After all, fishing season is yearly and not just seasonal. When one figures it out, one can’t beat the price regardless if it’s less or not. We have a good thing going here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania!

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The eagles are in town. No, I don’t mean the Philadelphia football organization. I’m talking about the American eagle, our country’s bird.

Just recently, I saw two at the corner of Walnut and Ligonier St. across from the Latrobe Bulletin. Previously, I had noticed one being attacked in flight by two crows where all three birds were flying above the Adelphoi Village complex. And then last Tuesday evening, I received a call from a motorist who was descending down West Second Avenue and noticed a very large, white-headed bird of prey flying above the hospital.

Yes, just like the other birds that have found their home in Latrobe, I think the eagles just may retire here. If so, whoa to those who have small pets tied in the back yards or even those who let their cats wander.

Still, it’s a spectacle to see.


- Paul J. Volkmann
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