Here is a bill that sportsmen should be able to get behind in force.
Please contact your state rep and ask they sign on or fully support this proposal by Rep Peifer.
Use the link below to find your representative and senator. Contact information is listed for district offices and the Harrisburg office:
The request for sponsors:
MAIN CAPITOL BUILDING
PO BOX 202139
HARRISBURG, PA 1712Q-2139
PHONE: (717) 783-2037
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
TO: All House Members
FROM: Representative Michael T. Peifer
<span style="color: #FF0000">RE: Fishing/ Poaching Violations - Penalty Enhancements</span>
DATE: February 15, 2012
32 COMMERCIAL STREET
HONESDALE, PA 18431
PHONE: (570) 253-5533
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would create a new category of offenses
within the Fish and Boat Code for serious poaching violations, and increase the duration for
which the Fish and Boat Commission would be permitted to revoke an individual's fishing or
This legislation has particular relevance to me and my constituents from the Lake
Wallenpaupack and Delaware River areas. We, along with the well-known Erie and
Susquehanna River regions, are just part of Pennsylvania's world-renowned fisheries that are
mainstays of our regional economies. Yet, we regularly see criminals illegally take large
quantities of valuable and highly sought after fish such as steelhead and striped bass under
cover of darkness to sell on black markets.
Pennsylvania has also developed a reputation for being a place to trade in threatened and
endangered species of snakes and turtles- species that are under the jurisdiction of the Fish and
Boat Commission. Traders regularly conduct their business in Pennsylvania knowing that they
will get a relatively light slap on the wrist.
In each case, all that the Fish and Boat Commission can currently do is to cite them for a
summary offense and fine them $50 for each offense. Perpetrators willingly pay this fine as a
cost of doing business -literally taking out rolls of$50 bills to pay the fine- and have no real
deterrent to stop depleting the Commonwealth's fish, reptile, and other aquatic resources.
This legislation would define and enhance penalties for serious poaching incidents, such as the
illegal taking of large numbers of steelhead or striped bass or the illegal harvest of reptiles and
amphibians that ultimately may be sold for profit. Specifically, it would make it a misdemeanor
of the second degree to take, catch, kill, or possess three or more times the daily limit of fish, or
fish having a replacement value above a defined level. Note that the Fish and Boat Code defines
fish as including all fish, amphibians, reptiles, and aquatic organisms, so this would capture the
illegal reptile trade as well.
In addition to the serious poaching provisions, this legislation would increase the duration for
which the Fish and Boat Commission may revoke an individual's fishing and boating privileges
from two to five years. Currently, the Commission may only revoke privileges for two years, and
increasing that time to five years would both create a greater deterrent and establish consistency
with the P A Game Code (under which the Game Commission may revoke a hunter's privileges
for five years).
It would also increase summary offense fines for the first time in over a decade; increase the
discretionary penalty for each fish taken, caught, killed, possessed, or sold in violation of the
Fish and Boat Code for the first time since 1980; provide for an optional additional penalty for
those individuals who use illegal devices to take fish; allow the Commission to start periods of
suspension after an individual is released from prison; and increase the severity of offenses for
performing certain acts while a license, permit, or privilege is suspended or revoked.
This legislation will work in conjunction with our recent actions to add Pennsylvania to the
Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact and the increase in poaching penalties under the Game
Code. I urge all my colleagues to co-sponsor this legislation, and help afford proper protection
to Pennsylvania's law-abiding anglers and the Commonwealth's fish, reptiles, amphibians, and
other aquatic resources.
If you would like to co-sponsor this legislation, please contact Barb Dysard at 783-203 7, oremail
her at [email protected]
. Thank you for your consideration of this proposal.