HARRISBURG – The holiday shopping season is quickly approaching. That means it’s time for anglers to get a jump on the 2015 fishing season and “Catch the Value” by taking advantage of historic price reductions on the cost of a fishing license.
Beginning on Cyber Monday – Dec. 1 – and lasting to the end of the month, anglers can purchase three-year and five-year fishing licenses at $3 and $5 off the regular price. It’s the first time in the history of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) that the agency has reduced the price of a license.
“This is a historic moment,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “In the past when we needed to increase the price of a license, it resulted in anglers dropping out of the sport. We are changing that approach this year.”
Arway said the promotional move is intended to highlight the sport’s affordability to families and younger audiences and to persuade lapsed anglers to return.
“I think a price reduction will catch the attention of many people who haven’t fished in a few years, or who have wanted to try fishing, but may have mistakenly thought that prices have increased like they have for other products and activities,” he added. “The fact is, the prices haven’t increased in a decade, since 2005. And now we’re reducing them, just in time for the holiday season.”
Anglers can enjoy $1 off on resident, non-resident and senior resident annual licenses purchased anytime throughout the 2015 season. But the price reductions on multi-year licenses are good only for the month of December. The licenses return to full price in January.
The PFBC also sells fishing license vouchers, which are similar to gift certificates. The new price reductions also apply to the purchase of vouchers, which can be redeemed at any time during the license year.
“Fishing license vouchers make great holiday gifts and stocking stuffers,” said Bernie Matscavage, director of the PFBC’s Bureau of Administration, which oversees sales. “We sell about 6,000 gift vouchers each year. The recipient then redeems the gift voucher for a fishing license and a year of fishing fun.”
The PFBC sells approximately 850,000 licenses annually, but survey research from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2011 national survey suggests that as many as 250,000 anglers who have fished in the past skip a year or more before buying their next license.
“This 250,000 gap and the anglers who do not purchase a license every consecutive year represent a segment of potential customers who may better recognize the value of a license at a discounted rate,” added PFBC Board President Norm Gavlick, who represents the northeast district. “At the same time, the discount should be a pleasant gift to current anglers when they buy their license for the next season, especially the discounts for the multi-year licenses over the holiday season.”
With the discount, the price of a resident annual license will be just $20; non-resident annual $50; senior annual resident $9; 3-year resident $60; 3-year non-resident $150; 5-year resident $100; and 5-year non-resident $250. Trout/salmon permits, Lake Eriepermits and combo permits are not included in the price reduction. A $1.70processing fee will be added to each transaction.
Anglers also can purchase an optional 2015 fishing license button for just $5. The 2015 color is pink. Buttons serve as a valid display requirement.
“Fishing has always been an affordable and fun family activity that can be enjoyed for a lifetime,” Arway said. “If we can capture the attention of potential new and returning anglers, we know they’ll be surprised at how inexpensive it is to fish and how easy it is to enjoy the sport.”
“‘Catch the Value’ and join in on the fun provided by our 86,000 miles of streams and rivers or on our 160,000 acres of lakes,” he added.
Vouchers and licenses can be purchased online through the PFBC’s Outdoor Shop, at more than 900 issuing agents, at county treasurers’ offices, and at the following PFBC regional offices:
- Northwest Region – Meadville (Crawford County), 11528 State Highway 98, Meadville, PA 16335;
- Walnut Creek Access Area – Fairview (Erie County), 241 Manchester Rd., Fairview, PA 16415-1710;
- Linesville Visitors Center – Linesville (Crawford County), 13300 Hartstown Rd., Linesville, PA 16424;
- Southwest Region – Somerset (Somerset County), 236 Lake Rd., Somerset, PA15501;
- PFBC Headquarters – Harrisburg (Dauphin County), 1601 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg, PA 17110;
- Northeast Region – Sweet Valley (Luzerne County), 5566 Main Rd., Sweet Valley, PA 18656;
- Southeast Region – Elm (Lancaster County), Brubaker Valley Road and Lakeview Drive, Elm, PA 17521;
- Southcentral Region – Newville (Cumberland County), 1704 Pine Rd., Newville, PA17241.