I am planning a trip to the lovely state of Penn, and would like to do a little paddling. I was told by someone that I might have to register my kayak and get a launch pass. Is this something I can take care of when I arrive to a launch site? Other suggestions?
The two easiest ways are to stop by a state park and pick up a launch permit there, or to order one from the Fish and Boat Commission's website. Whoever handles the website sales is excruciatingly slow, so if you don't have at least two weeks from the time you place your order until you are leaving, the permit might not get there in time.
Here is the online store:
Click on the Fish and Boat Commission Shop in the upper right hand corner, then on "products", then on "boat permits"
A third alternative is to stop at someplace that handles boat registrations and launch permits. They are listed on the Fish and Boat Commission website. http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Fish_Boat/bragent.htm
You will only need the PA Fish and Boat launch permit if you plan on using one of their public luanch sites. That rule is rarely enforced though, especially in northest PA where I work for the NPS alongside PA F&B.
Depends on where you want to paddle
There are a lot of places in PA where you do not need to have your boat registered to be able to paddle on the water.
The Susquehanna River is all “free” paddling, but you have to be careful of where you put in. If it is a Fish & Boat Commission ramp, or launch site, it will be posted as such, and then you must have a sticker on the kayak or canoe. But there are many launch sites where you do not need the sticker.
State Parks, and lakes owned by the fish commission (like Speed Well Forge) all require either a registration sticker, or a state park permit. Both cost about the same, so I opted for the registration sticker (No numbers needed on kayaks).
Blue Marsh Lake, just west of Reading, has Fish Commission launch sites, and some free ones.
If you have any specific site questions, just post, ansd I am sure someone will help you!
I believe as long as your boat is registered in your state, Pa. will let you paddle with out re-registering.
Did this several times.
In PA, if you have an out of state registration or launch sticker, it is reciprocal.
If your home state requires no such thing for paddle craft, PA WILL require EITHER a registration OR DCNR launch sticker to use State Park or PA Fish and Boat Commission facilities.
DO NOT be fooled that this is not enforced. It is, ask one of the frequent posters here, Clarion.
Any river deemed navigable without using a PAFBC ramp/access or any Army Corp project does not require any of the above for usage.
See c2g’s reply for acquisition of such permits.
Also, be aware that the enforcement officers of the PAFBC do not necessarily know these regulations as posted on their website. They may insist on “registration” when the DCNR permit is adequate.
Hope this helps.
Wesd’s right, they “pinched” me
"That’ll be 50 of your pelts there young man." No, actually my friendly SS proceeded to desribe the whole regulatory scheme to me complete with flawed economic arguments and an analysis of the problem of the free rider until I finally had to say, “Dude, just write my ticket, I’ve got boats and gear to load.”
That said, do I need launch permits at Raystown? Even after getting fined, I haven’t COMPLETELY ruled out paying the SS man every third year (that would be my bet anyway) rather than register or permit 4 canoes every single year. I just find it offensive.
I’ve become email friends with the officer in charge at Raystown. Officer Norri King has stated unequivacally that NO PERMIT or REG is needed at an Army Corp facility for paddle craft.