§ 69.12. Seasons, sizes and creel limits—Lake Erie, Lake Erie tributaries and Presque Isle Bay including peninsula waters.

 (a)  It is unlawful to take, catch, kill or possess fish, except during the seasons specified in this section. It is not a violation of this section if a fish caught out of season from water where fishing for other species is lawful is immediately returned unharmed to the waters from which it was taken.

 (b)  It is unlawful to take, catch, kill or possess fish of less than the minimum size specified in this section. It is not a violation of this section if an undersized fish taken from waters where fishing is otherwise lawful is immediately returned unharmed to the waters from which it was taken.

 (c)  It is unlawful to take, catch or kill more than 1 day’s limit of any species of fish as specified in the following chart during 1-calendar day. It is unlawful to possess more than 1 day’s limit of any species of fish as specified in the following chart except under the following circumstances:

   (1)  A person may possess any number of lawfully caught fish at the person’s residence.

   (2)  A person who is engaged in a fishing trip away from home for 2 or more consecutive calendar days may, while transporting fish from the place where caught to his residence, possess a number of fish equal to no more than two times the daily creel limit for that species of fish. In prosecution for violation of this section, it shall be a rebuttable presumption that a person transporting fish from a fishing site caught all the fish during 1-calendar day.

   (3)  A fish will not be considered to be caught in violation of this section if it is immediately returned unharmed to the waters from which it was taken.

   (4)  A fish caught that is not to be counted in the creel limit shall be immediately released unharmed into the water from which taken. A fish that is injured or is bleeding as a result of being caught will not be considered unharmed and will be considered as part of a daily creel or possession limits. Except as otherwise provided in §  53.24 or §  63.40 (relating to tournament and fishing derby permits; and fishing tournament and fishing derbies), a fish placed on a stringer, or confined by any type of container, structure or device, or not returned immediately to the water, will be considered as part of the daily creel or possession limits. Fish returned to the water shall be handled carefully and be returned unharmed to the water from which taken.

   (5)  Fish may be given to another person, but the fish will be counted in the donor’s creel limit and neither the donor nor the recipient may kill or possess (while in the act of fishing) more than the limit allowed.

 (d)  It is unlawful to fish in or along any Lake Erie tributary stream from 12:01 a.m. on the Friday before the first Saturday after April 11 until 8 a.m. on the first Saturday after April 11.

 (e)  It is unlawful to possess trout or salmon in or along any Lake Erie tributary stream from 12:01 a.m. on the Friday before the first Saturday after April 11 until 8 a.m. on the first Saturday after April 11.

 (f)  Except as otherwise provided in subsections (d) and (e) and this subpart, the following seasons, sizes and creel limits apply to Lake Erie, Lake Erie tributaries and Presque Isle Bay, including peninsula waters:

SPECIES SEASONS MINIMUM SIZE DAILY LIMIT
MUSKELLUNGE and MUSKELLUNGE HYBRIDS Inland seasons apply. See §  61.1 (relating to Commonwealth inland waters). 40 inches 1
PIKE Northern Inland seasons apply. See §  61.1 (relating to Commonwealth inland waters). 24 inches 2
WALLEYE January 1 to midnight March 14 and May 1 to December 31. 15 inches Established annually by April 15*
BASS  Largemouth  Smallmouth January 1 to first Saturday after April 11 and first Saturday after June 11 until December 31. 15 inches 4 (combined species)
First Saturday after April 11 until first Saturday after June 11.*20 inches1
TROUT and SALMON 8 a.m. first Saturday after April 11 until midnight Labor Day. 9 inches 5 (combined species only 2 of which may be lake trout).
12:01 a.m. the day after Labor Day until 12:01 a.m. on the Friday before the first Saturday after April 11. 15 inches 3 (combined species only 2 of which may be lake trout).
STURGEON No open season ENDANGERED SPECIES
 YELLOW PERCH From December 1 through April 30 7 inches Established annually by April 15**
From May 1 through November 30NoneEstablished annually by April 15*
SUNFISH, CRAPPIES, CATFISH, ROCK BASS, SUCKERS, EELS, CARP, WHITE BASS Open year-round None 50 (combined species)
BURBOT (when taken by hook and line) Open year-round None 5
BURBOT (when taken by scuba divers by use of nonmechanical spears or gigs at a depth of at least 60 feet) June 1 to September 30 None 5
SMELT (when taken by hook and line) Open year-round None None
AMERICAN EELOpen year-round9 inches25
BAIT FISH FISH BAIT, except American eel, mussels/clams and crayfish Open year-round None 50 (combined species)
CRAYFISH (ALL SPECIES)Open year-round50. The head must be immediately removed behind the eyes upon capture unless used as bait in the water from which taken.
MUSSELS/CLAMSClosed year-round0
ALL OTHER SPECIES Inland Regulations apply. (See §  61.1.)

 * It is unlawful to conduct or participate in a fishing tournament (as defined in §  63.40 (relating to fishing tournaments and fishing derbies)) for bass on Lake Erie, Lake Erie tributaries or Presque Isle Bay during the period from the first Saturday after April 11 until the first Saturday after June 11.

 ** See §  69.12b (relating to Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch adaptive management for establishing daily limits). After the Executive Director establishes the daily limit for the year, the information will be posted on the Commission’s web site and available from any Commission office.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  69.12 issued under the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S. § §  305, 322, 741, 928, 2102, 2307, 2711 and 5122—5124; amended under the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S. §  2102.

Source

   The provisions of this §  69.12 amended December 28, 1984, effective December 29, 1984, 14 Pa.B. 4691; amended March 13, 1987, effective March 14, 1987, 17 Pa.B. 1084; amended February 3, 1989, effective February 4, 1989, 19 Pa.B. 405; amended December 14, 1990, effective December 15, 1990, 20 Pa.B. 6182; amended April 12, 1996, effective April 13, 1996, 26 Pa.B. 1706; amended November 22, 1996, effective January 1, 1997, 26 Pa.B. 5701; amended November 22, 1996, effective January 1, 1997, 26 Pa.B. 5711; amended April 18, 1997, effective April 19, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 1934; amended October 31, 1997, effective November 1, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 5605; amended November 7, 1997, effective November 8, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 5779; amended June 15, 2001, effective January 1, 2002, 31 Pa.B. 3205; amended September 27, 2002, effective December 1, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 4707; amended March 7, 2003, effective March 8, 2003, 33 Pa.B. 1230; amended December 12, 2003, effective January 1, 2004, 33 Pa.B. 6061; amended November 24, 2004, effective January 1, 2005, 34 Pa.B. 6328; amended September 9, 2005, effective January 1, 2006, 35 Pa.B. 5007; amended September 9, 2005, effective September 10, 2005, 35 Pa.B. 5008; amended September 22, 2006, effective January 1, 2007, 36 Pa.B. 5872; amended April 10, 2009, effective April 11, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 1859; corrected December 11, 2009, effective April 11, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 7009; amended December 17, 2010, effective December 18, 2010, 40 Pa.B. 7233; amended March 23, 2012, effective March 24, 2012, 42 Pa.B. 1502; amended March 21, 2014, effective March 22, 2014, 44 Pa.B. 1766; amended July 3, 2014, effective January 1, 2015, 44 Pa.B. 4177; amended August 8, 2014, effective August 9, 2014, 44 Pa.B. 5336. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (372610) to (372613).

Cross References

   This section cited in 58 Pa. Code §  69.19 (relating to permit for the use of cast nets, throw nets or dip nets by sport anglers).



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