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Daniel Bryan

Do I need a trout stamp?

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I am ice fishing with my father, and out of the blue he informs me that you need a trout stamp to fish in Lake Ontelaunee. That is the most ridiculous absurd thing I ever heard of, especially when catching a trout at this time at that lake is unheard of. I read the official fishing rules a few times over in the trout section and I could not find the trout fishing rule I am breaking by not having a trout stamp. There is a section in there that signifies "Ontelaunee Creek" as being trout regulated waters, but it specifies "(Spring House Road Bridge (SR 4024) downstream to mouth)". We are mainly fishing for large mouth bass, pike, pickerel, musky, maybe some catfish or panfish... but no trout/salmon, so why the heck would I need a trout stamp. Perhaps there is a sign posted at the lake I didn't read? Or maybe there is something I am missing online? I mean its only 9 bucks so its not a huge deal, but if I didn't have to pay that extra amount to fish that would be great.

 

Someone please shed some light. Here is the rules in case you missed them.

 

"A current Pennsylvania trout/salmon permit is required to fish for trout or salmon in Pennsylvania waters. Permits are printed on the license. An angler “fishes for trout or salmon” when he or she:

• Takes, kills or possesses, while in the act of fishing, a trout or salmon from any PA or boundary waters. (Obviously irrelevant to my situation, because I am clearly not fishing for trout and would have no problem immediately releasing one)

• Fishes in waters under special trout/salmon regulations. (Lake Ontelaunee is not listed. It's streams are but they are very specific indicating it stops at the mouth of the river and shows no indication that the Lake is trout regulated)

• Fishes in any Class A Wild Trout Waters or Wilderness Trout Streams or their tributaries. (This is where they may have me. Idk how one finds out of Lake Ontelaunee is a Class A Wild Trout Water. Its not a stream, nor a tributary though)

• Fishes in streams and rivers designated as stocked trout waters on March 1 through May 31. (Right now its the middle of January lol)"

 

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In most cases if you are not targeting trout and not keeping them you do not need a stamp 

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I'm not looking for generally excepted. Like going 5 mph over the speed limit. It's generally accepted but you could still get a ticket. What I really want to know is, if a game preserve official came out on the ice and checked my license and saw it didn't have a trout stamp, could I be ticketed? I saw other stories where the person was going out for small mouth bass, but he couldn't fish in that location because it was trout regulated waters. The streams off of Lake Ontelaunee are indeed trout regulated, so does that mean the lake itself is?

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No one here can really answer this to a certainty I’d be comfortable with. After all, if we’re wrong, you’d still pay the price if you were in the wrong. 

The best thing to do in my humble opinion is to call your states wildlife office and get the scoop from them. Take a name and badge number too. 

 

This is what would convince me to get it:

A current Pennsylvania trout/salmon permit is required to fish for trout or salmon in Pennsylvania waters.”

 

however, I think you’d be “safe” because the bass gear you have should indicate you’re not targeting trout. But if you get into it with a warden, at best he’ll believe you and at worst, he’d throw the book at you.  it’s your word vs his and you’d probably lose. 

 

 

 

 

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Call the DGIF for PA and ask.  Here in VA even if you aren't fishing for trout and you are in a trout regulated water, you need a trout stamp.

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1 minute ago, flyfisher said:

Call the DGIF for PA and ask.  Here in VA even if you aren't fishing for trout and you are in a trout regulated water, you need a trout stamp.

This.

I used to fish 'fly fishing only sections' of a river and you needed a trout stamp to be on them.  Even if you aren't targeting trout there are stocking windows that require you to have a stamp if ur on that body of water with a rod.  You gotta call to find out the specific rules of that lake.

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Hello Daniel, welcome to Bass Resource and the Forums.

 

In answer to your question, I think your first bullet point Takes, kills or possesses, while in the act of fishing, a trout or salmon from any PA or boundary waters, provides the answer, with “while in the act of fishing” being the key, all encompassing phrase.

 

I don’t what the cost of the trout stamp is in PA, here in Cali it is a salmon/steelhead punch card. As an outdoorsman, you have to be a steward of the resource, and over the course of a year the cost of that stamp has to be less than a couple of pennies a day.  

 

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39 minutes ago, J._Bricker said:

Hello Daniel, welcome to Bass Resource and the Forums.

 

In answer to your question, I think your first bullet point Takes, kills or possesses, while in the act of fishing, a trout or salmon from any PA or boundary waters, provides the answer, with “while in the act of fishing” being the key, all encompassing phrase.

 

I don’t what the cost of the trout stamp is in PA, here in Cali it is a salmon/steelhead punch card. As an outdoorsman, you have to be a steward of the resource, and over the course of a year the cost of that stamp has to be less than a couple of pennies a day.  

 

This is very true.  I also look at it this way, even if i am not fishing for trout, those trout dollars are being spent to help the resource improve for all species.  The trout specific areas also tend to get more monies from other places as well. 

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In North Jersey, I was told if you didn't have a trout stamp then you must.

Catch & Release, Return the fish to the water unharmed and if you did that you were fine.

However, In my local lake and stream they are stocked with rainbows so it makes sense to get a trout stamp.

In your case, I would contact the right people and ask them and see what they say.

Honestly i think it's worth paying for the stamp and it gives you peace of mind.

My stamp cost about 10-11$ here.

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I just looked at the PA license pricing and I can’t believe how cheap a 3 year resident license is. 

 

It is just a few dollars more than a 1 year combo (meaning salt and fresh water) license. 

 

$9.90 for the trout stamp sounds like a pretty good bargain but please don’t give my state any ideas, okay? The idea of a trout stamp is not on their radar right now and I don’t want it to be... Shhhhhhhh😅 not a word....

 

I digress but one thing that irks me about my state is that you’re not a “senior” until age 70.

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@Daniel Bryan you don't need a trout stamp on Ontelaunee. There aren't any trout in that lake. I know, I've fished it and ice fished it. You don't need a trout stamp for ice fishing anywhere if you are not keeping trout. Its the same with regular (not ice) fishing. The only difference may be trout streams that are special regulation streams such as heritage streams and fly-fishing only streams. Those I believe you do need to have a trout stamp. 

16 minutes ago, islandbass said:

 

It is just a few dollars more than a 1 year combo (meaning salt and fresh water) license. 

 

Just a note. We don't have saltwater licenses in PA cause we are landlocked. What you might be thinking about is the Lake Erie permit for salmon. And the multi-year licenses are great. I bought a 5 year license the first year they offered it. Beats having to go to Wallyworld every year.

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I buy a state trout permit every year because a few of the lakes I fish you're required to whether a person is fishing for trout or not. Looks like you got your answer but a quick call to your state wildlife office should quickly clear up any uncertainty. Taking legal advice from even trustworthy folks here is not really the smartest thing to do. 

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3 hours ago, Gundog said:

@Daniel Bryan you don't need a trout stamp on Ontelaunee. There aren't any trout in that lake. I know, I've fished it and ice fished it. You don't need a trout stamp for ice fishing anywhere if you are not keeping trout. Its the same with regular (not ice) fishing. The only difference may be trout streams that are special regulation streams such as heritage streams and fly-fishing only streams. Those I believe you do need to have a trout stamp. 

Just a note. We don't have saltwater licenses in PA cause we are landlocked. What you might be thinking about is the Lake Erie permit for salmon. And the multi-year licenses are great. I bought a 5 year license the first year they offered it. Beats having to go to Wallyworld every year.

I figured that. My intent was to point out how “eye-rolling brilliant” my state is. They actually differentiated between salt and fresh water. The coast is actually far from Seattle but we have inland water that just happens to be salt water, ie, a sound.  I know, strange name. In some areas you can go from salt water (not coastal water as in ocean) to a fresh water lake in minutes but my state makes that distinction. 

 

  • Annual Freshwater Fishing License: $29.50
  • Annual Saltwater Fishing License: $30.05
  • Annual Combo Fishing/Shellfish: $55.35
  • Ages 16-69. 

 

At least trout is included in the freshwater license. The joking point I was making was to not have PA give WA a hint to follow suit on the trout stamp but I’m all in if they followed suit on selling a 3 year resident license for PA’s price. 😀

 

 

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You mentioned that the trout stamp is $9. Look up the fine for fishing in a designated trout area with no trout stamp and I'm willing to bet you'll see that the $9 trout stamp is a pretty cheap piece of mind. 

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In Georgia if you plan on putting a line in any river, or stream you need a trout stamp. It's better to be safe than sorry.

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When I visited PA on vacation last year I purchased a Trout stamp. I was advised by the individual at the tackle store where I was getting my license that it was required if there was a "chance" that I would catch one even if I was not targeting that species.

 

He asked the name of the body of water I was fishing and when I named it he said "Yep there are Trout in there." I purchased the stamp and caught no Trout. Not complaining for two reasons, the cost of the stamp I hope is used to fund stocking the Trout for everyone. Second reason is if I didn't purchase the stamp I would have caught a Trout by accident and I would have gotten a ticket because that's how my luck ran in 2017

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