Catching A Break From Coronavirus: Pa. Fish And Boat Office Reports Record Spike In Fishing, Boating

Written by on July 10, 2020

Catching A Break From Coronavirus: Pa. Fish And Boat Office Reports Record Spike In Fishing, Boating

By Megan Frank

July 10, 2020

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Pennsylvanians have flocked to state parks to catch a break from stay-at-home orders. As WLVR’s Megan Frank reports, the increase in visitors has made the Fish and Boat office more popular. 

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission planned for a big 20-20 fishing season.

Earlier this year, they began to stock state waters with large trout – known as trophy trout  – and ran a Christmastime marketing campaign around purchasing fishing licenses. 

Communications Director Mike Parker says when Covid-19 hit, his office feared the entire season would be a bust – instead, it’s setting records. 

“We went from pushing license sales to talking about safety and social distancing. As it turned out, people continued to buy the fishing licenses at numbers that we haven’t seen since the 1990s. As of July 2020, we’ve seen a nearly 20 percent increase in the number of fishing licenses sold across Pennsylvania. If there’s a silver lining to these uncertain times, it’s that people are getting outside and finding that they love these places,” said Parker.

The commission also reports a 50 percent increase in boating registrations for the year. 

The average cost of a fishing license is 30 dollars.

A boat registration fee depends on the size and type of boat – and goes up to about 50 dollars.

Parker says the money supports the commission’s conservation efforts and helps pay for fish stock. 

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