About Webb Weekly

Webb Weekly is a family-oriented newspaper direct mailed to over 58,000 homes each week.

Webb Weekly

280 Kane St. STE #2
South Williamsport, PA
United States

Phone & Fax

Phone: 570-326-9322
Fax: 570-326-9383

Get In Touch With Us

Latest Issue


Paddlers May be Required to Register Their Craft

The rest of the “Frozen Chosen” and I are actually considering hitting some hard water sometime next week so why am I writing about paddling watercraft around as we dip into the winter months? The reason is that there may be some changes coming in the near future regarding non-powered watercraft, and those changes will

The rest of the “Frozen Chosen” and I are actually considering hitting some hard water sometime next week so why am I writing about paddling watercraft around as we dip into the winter months? The reason is that there may be some changes coming in the near future regarding non-powered watercraft, and those changes will affect the wallet. It’s no secret that the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is looking for ways to offset financial losses; one, of course, would be a license fee increase but that hasn’t come about yet. Another plan under consideration to raise needed funds is to require kayakers and canoe enthusiasts to register their boats.

Presently if paddlers plan to use Fish and Boat Commission launch sites or state park sites paddle boats must be registered ($22 for two years), or you may opt to purchase a launch permit for one year at $12 or two years for $22. Paddlers using other launches need not register their craft. The commission would like to see all watercraft registered including kayaks, canoes and I believe that also includes paddleboarders. I simply register my canoe since I use it in a variety of launch sites and locations. Presently all powered boats including electric powered boats must be registered.

In addition to the registration fees the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission also gets a $3 fee from the U.S. Coast Guard for each registered boat. According to the commission, many people are shifting from powered boats to kayaks and canoes, and the commission is losing money; add to that a decline in the number of fishermen buying a fishing license and considerable revenue is being lost.

Of the estimated 300,000 paddlers out there only about half of them purchased launch permits or registration-that leaves about 150,000 kayaks, canoes and paddleboarders not putting anything into the coffers. There are those at the commission who feel that the paddlers should pay a fee since they benefit from but do not financially support access areas, water trails programming, law enforcement, water rescue, and other commission programs. Not all of the money received from the paddlers’ registration would be net profit however since the launch fees would have to be deducted as well as some other costs, but it would help alleviate some of the losses.

In a related note in an effort to come up with more revenue the commission began marketing several voluntary stamps. Presently if you plan to fish for trout, you are required to purchase a trout stamp, but these additional stamps are a voluntary purchase-in other words, a donation to the commission. The voluntary stamps include a muskie stamp, a bass stamp, a wild trout-enhanced waters stamp, and a habitat-conservation stamp. It’s hoped that those who have a passion for pursuing a particular species of fish would be willing to kick in a little extra to help promote that species. The first three stamps mentioned are $10 each plus $1.90 for the issuing agent. The habitat-conservation stamp would be $25 plus the $1.90 issuing agent fee.

The issuing of a voluntary stamp isn’t totally new; it’s been done before including a voluntary Save Our Susquehanna or SOS button that sells for $10. As the name implies the funding received from the “donation” would go for improvements in the troubled Susquehanna River watershed. Since its launch, the program has generated $81,000. I must admit, I have a particular fondness for the SOS button since it was my artwork of a Susquehanna River smallmouth that graced the face of the button-the same artwork that was used on a cover for Pennsylvania Angler and Boater Magazine this summer. Oh yeah, I purchased an SOS button.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Posts Carousel