This is a discussion on PA Press: Regulations on reptile and amphibian collecting within the Press / News Items forums, part of the General Discussion & News category; POST-GAZETTE (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) 05 July 09 Regulations on reptile and amphibian collecting (Scott Shalaway) In recent weeks, I have mentioned ...
POST-GAZETTE (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) 05 July 09 Regulations on reptile and amphibian collecting (Scott Shalaway)
In recent weeks, I have mentioned that bullfrogs and snapping turtles are fair game in Pennsylvania. Since then, I've heard from several readers who were surprised that some species of reptiles and amphibians may be legally harvested in the state.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is responsible for managing herps (a collective term that includes both reptiles and amphibians), and a valid fishing license is required of anyone catching or taking herps from commonwealth waterways. A fishing license is not required to take herps on land.
Here's a brief summary of regulations governing the harvest of herps in Pennsylvania:
Bullfrogs, green frogs and snapping turtles may be taken from July 1 through Oct. 31. The daily frog limit is 10; the possession limit is 20. The limits for snappers are 15 daily, 30 in possession.
There is no closed season on amphibian eggs and tadpoles, with limits of 15 and 15 combined species.
The open season on timber rattlesnakes and copperheads runs from June 13 through July 31. The annual limit is 1 of each species, and a special permit is required to take poisonous snakes. Timber rattlers must be at least 42 inches long, excluding the rattles.
All threatened and endangered species enjoy complete protection. A list of these species is available at the Web site listed below.
The following species also have complete protection. There is a possession limit of zero and no open season for eastern hognose, eastern ribbon, eastern worm, mountain earth, queen, shorthead garter, smooth earth and smooth green snakes; broadhead and northern coal skinks and northern fence lizard; Blanding's, wood, spotted, and eastern box turtle (note: box turtles may not be legally possessed); eastern hellbender, mudpuppy, four-toed, Jefferson, marbled, and ravine salamanders; and northern cricket, mountain chorus, and striped chorus frogs.
For all other native reptiles and amphibians in the state, there is no closed season with a possession limit of 1 each.
For details about organized rattlesnake hunts and restrictions on the methods of taking herps, consult the Fish and Boat Commission's 2009 Fishing Laws and Regulations Summary Book, (Summary of Pennsylvania Fishing Laws and Regulations - Reptiles and Amphibians - Seasons and Limits). Or call the Southwest Regional PFBC office in Somerset at 814-445-3497.
Wildlife: Regulations on reptile and amphibian collecting
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